What is the strangest museum in Italy

Ghirri-Schau is an insider tip from Italy

First major exhibition outside of Italy

Because the 300 pictures on an area of ​​800 square meters form the first major exhibition dedicated to Luigi Ghirri outside of his home country Italy. Unfortunately, the artist died in 1992 after a heart attack at the age of 49.

Ghirri was a unique artist, said British exhibition curator James Lingwood on Thursday: “His work was an open secret. He was never really famous, but also not unknown. ”Ghirri was known for photo icons such as Robert Frank and William Eggleston.

Thomas Demand is a fan

Today the famous German artist Thomas Demand is one of his admirers. But what makes Ghirri's pictures so special?

The trained surveying technician always photographed his home in series and in color, frontal and obsessed with details. The “Breakfast in the Green” series shows aspects of everyday life in Modena, barren sections of reality: windows with closed shutters, doors with symmetrical floral decorations, a conifer in an ugly pot. Or a slide in the sand. Ghirri photographed colorful advertising posters - but also the brick that crumbles out from underneath.

It is so direct and straightforward that many motifs achieve a remarkable timelessness and finality. It is as if the artist freed reality from everything superfluous, reduced it to an uncompromisingly honest essence.

Ghirri used the "language of the amateurs"

The viewer strolls with increasing fascination through the 14 chapters of the show, from which the pictures for his book “Kodachrome” (1978) and those he took in the “Italia in miniatura” theme park in Rimini stand out. They were there so often, recalled his 27-year-old daughter Adele at the press conference on Thursday.

At a time when serious photographers were still paying homage to black and white, Luigi Ghirri turned to color film. Back then, it was the "language of the amateurs," Lingwood said. Ghirris often have orange-toned pictures in the typical colors of their time. Nevertheless, they are not a swan song for the 1970s, but real classics.

Museum Folkwang Essen: “Luigi Ghirri”, Museumsplatz 1, 4.5.-22.7., Tue / Wed / Sat / Sun 10 am-6pm, Thu / Fri 10 am-8pm, admission 5 euros, catalog 45 euros. Open on Ascension Day (May 10th), Whit Monday (May 20th) and Corpus Christi (May 31st).