Luigi Ghirri - Photographs London Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    The Roberto Margini Collection

  • Literature

    M. Mussini & P. B. Ghirri, Luigi Ghirri, Milan: Federico Motta, 2001, p. 188
    L. Ghirri, Luigi Ghirri: Still-Life 1975-1981, Milan: Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2004, p. 134

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘Reality is being transformed into a colossal photograph and the photomontage already exists: it’s called the real world.’ —Luigi Ghirri

    In 1980 and 1981, Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992) was invited by Polaroid International, along with seven other photographers, to use the recently acquired 20x24 camera in their Amsterdam studio. While many props were made available, which the other participants used to create their Polaroids, Ghirri chose to bring suitcases filled with his own found objects. The resulting image offered here – a complex composition of a crowd (mirrored and replicated multiple times to increase its expanse) superimposed with a ‘floating’ globe as a visual anchor – best represents Ghirri’s ability to create pictorial adventures for the eyes and the mind.

    Surveyor and cartographer turned photographer, Luigi Ghirri was a pivotal figure in the rise of colour photography in Europe in the 1970s. Fascinated by the tensions existing between the real world and its representations, Ghirri incorporated reproductions of reality – postcards, signs, posters and maps – in his work and played with mise-en-abyme, perspective, scale and superimposition of images to create a visual cartography of everyday life. Ghirri had his first retrospective outside of his native Italy at the Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2019.


Amsterdam, MappaMondo from Still Life

Unique Polaroid print.
Sheet: 55.7 x 80 cm (21 7/8 x 31 1/2 in.)
Annotated in ink in the margin.

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £12,600

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Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

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+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 23 November 2021