Marazzi celebrates its collaboration with Luigi Ghirri
‘Luigi Ghirri: The Marazzi Years 1975 – 1985’ is now on show at the Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo (until 31 October 2021), showcasing the extraordinary creative collaboration between the tile specialist and the Italian photographer
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- Sign up to our newsletter Newsletter
Between 1975 and 1985, Italian surface specialist Marazzi enlisted artist Luigi Ghirri to create a series of photographs that explore its ceramics tiles catalogues in a poetic, expressive way. Thirty photographs from this collection are now on view at Sassuolo’s Palazzo Ducale (until 31 October 2021) in the exhibition ‘Luigi Ghirri: The Marazzi Years 1975 – 1985’, curated by Ilaria Campioli, and part of a book of the same title. The exhibition is scheduled to travel internationally, with the next stop being Paris, where the collection is going to be on show at the Italian Cultural Institute in November 2021, during Paris Photo.
Marazzi and Luigi Ghirri
Marazzi is no stranger to creative collaborations. Having launched the company in 1935, Filippo Marazzi explored the identity of ceramic surfaces at a time when they were becoming popular, through collaborations with the likes of Venerio Martini and Gio Ponti. The founder’s grandson (also Filippo Marazzi) followed in his grandfather’s footsteps in the 1980s with the opening of an R&D department which he dubbed crogiolo (the crucible).
Among the creative collaborations kickstarted by third generation Marazzi are works by world-renowned photographers and artists such as Gianni Berengo Gardin, Cuchi White and Charles Traub. Ghirri was among them, and became a long-term contributor to Marazzi’s creative growth. Having grown up close to the Marazzi HQ, Ghirri had a special understanding of the product and its creation, and in 1975 he started documenting Marazzi tiles in a free, poetic manner. For the following ten years until 1985, Ghirri created dozens of photographs which, for the largest part, remained locked within the company’s archives.
The imaginative photography, reads a text accompanying the exhibition, forms ‘a research in which ceramics are read as surfaces and mental space, an infinite possibility of composition, light and colour’. Ghirri played with the ceramic surfaces to create landscapes, architectural spaces, background to aesthetic follies. He used flowers, objects, shadows and drawings to populate his images, creating an eclectic portfolio that showcases his vision as a photographer as well as Marazzi’s exemplary pieces.
‘In his works for Marazzi, Luigi Ghirri placed the ceramic material within a wider reflection on representation,’ says Campioli. ‘The surfaces become part of this system of measuring and reducing the world into scale, which was so important for the artist in that period. The combination of the different planes and grids allowed him to further investigate and reflect on knowledge and learning, as if they were a new page on which to learn how to write and draw each time
‘Luigi Ghirri. The Marazzi Years 1975 – 1985’ is on show at the Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo until 31 October 2021
ghirri.marazzi.it (opens in new tab)
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
London architecture exhibitions 2023: a guide to the best shows this month
Exciting, beautiful and thought-provoking London architecture exhibitions; here's our pick of the finest in town, to visit and enjoy this month
By Ellie Stathaki • Published
Ai Weiwei's largest-ever Lego artwork revealed at London’s Design Museum
At London’s Design Museum, Ai Weiwei has unveiled Water Lilies #1, a new Lego recreation of Claude Monet’s iconic painting. We explore the vast new work ahead of the Chinese artist’s major show at the museum, opening on 7 April 2023
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith • Published
These Jacob Cohën jeans are entirely compostable
‘From nature, to nature,’ goes the tagline for Jacob Cohën’s ‘Endless Luxury’ collection, which is the latest innovation in the Italian denim brand’s pursuit of sustainable design solutions
By Jack Moss • Published