Luigi Ghirri is one of the most important and influential photographic artists in Italy and indeed the world.
His photographs convey a yearning for a distinctly classical aesthetic, which he explores in perfectly composed images while at the same time introducing a counterpoint in the form of often dreary scenarios which he stylizes, heightens and distils into a view that might be described as Melancholia Italiana. The image of Italian life he projects is one of emptiness, longing and absence by creating a form of expression that was in keeping with the mood of the day and reflected the Italian view of their own country and the wider world. The compositional perfection contrasts with a reality that falls far short of it, in images harboring both social criticism and hope. This is what made, and still makes, Luigi Ghirri such an outstanding representative of his time. —Axel Jablonski