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November 13th, 2020

Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.

The haunting photographs of Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992), which depict the artist's native Italian region of Emilia-Romagna with an eye for surreal juxtapositions and spatial conundrums, have inspired obsessive devotion from other artists. The photographer Thomas Demand, in the 2010 exhibition he organized for Matthew Marks, "La Carte d'après Nature," included Ghirri's photographs along with Rene Magritte's paintings and other Surrealist images. Now, the painter Matt Connors has organized another Ghirri exhibition for the gallery, "Luigi Ghirri: The Idea of Building."

Where Demand was interested in Ghirri's use of landscape, Connors was drawn to the photographer's equally playful and confounding approach to architecture. (This will make sense to admirers of Connors's paintings, which are abstract but combine large, vaguely architectonic blocks of color.) Strategically placed paintings, posters, and mirrors trick us into thinking that they are windows; deep spaces look suspiciously flat and shallow. As Connors writes in a statement for the online version of the show, "To me, as a painter, the photographs of Luigi Ghirri are built rather than composed, things rather than images."

Luigi Ghirri, "Teatro Valli, Reggio Emilia," 1986, from the series "Paesaggio italiano." © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.Luigi Ghirri, "Alto Adige" from the series "Kodachrome," 1977. © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks GalleryLuigi Ghirri, "Amsterdam," from the series "Still Life and Polaroid," 1981. © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks GalleryLuigi Ghirri, "Ferrara," from the series "Topographie – Iconographie," 1979. © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks GalleryLuigi Ghirri, "Fenis," from the series "Paesaggio italiano," 1986. © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks GalleryLuigi Ghirri, "Bitonto," from the series "Paesaggio italiano," 1986. © The Estate of Luigi Ghirri, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

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