Luca Gilli (b. 1965) lives and works in Cavriago (Reggio Emilia, Italy). After graduating in Natural Science, he conducted research at the University of Parma in the fields of zoology and ecology for several years, before deciding to dedicate his time exclusively to graphic design and, above all, to photography. He first started showcasing his work to the public in 2004, when he exhibited his personal photography projects in Italy, France and Egypt.
From 2006 to 2010, he focused on researching and developing the technique and poetics of his art, working on a number of new series including “Panthalassa” (2008–2009) and “Islanda” (2009). During this period, he exhibited rarely, and when he did so, the works had previously appeared elsewhere.
In 2011, he participated in the Reggio Emilia “European Photography” festival with his “Menu del giorno” (2010–2011), and at the Milan Image Art Fair with his work “Panthalassa”, working with the Vrais Rêves gallery of Lyon (the gallery in which he had shown the same work the year before). He exhibited at the Galerie Nadar and the Médiathèque André Malraux in Tourcoing, and held two personal exhibitions in Arles during the Rencontres de la Photographie.
Between 2011 and 2012 the “Blank” project took on its definitive form. In November 2011, Planorbis published the volume of the same name, with an essay by Quentin Bajac, the then director of the Photography Department at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The images were shown at the Confluence gallery in Nantes, the Claude Samuel gallery in Paris, the Maison de la Photographie in Lille, the Milan Image Art Fair and the Paris Art Fair at the Grand Palais.
In 2013, he staged several solo shows at the Lille Art Fair, the 10Due! International Research Contemporary Art Gallery in Milan, the Palazzo Civico at the Town Hall in Montechiarugolo (Parma), the Weber & Weber Arte Moderna e Contemporanea gallery in Turin. In that same year, his work was featured in the “Nuage” exhibition at the Musée Reattu in Arles – Musée des beaux-arts di Arles.
In 2014, some of his other projects were exhibited at other Italian and French galleries. He took participated in the Milan Art Fair, here he won the prestigious award BNL-BNP Paribas award. His solo exhibitions were displayed in during the Rencontres de la Photographie, at the Museum of Photography in Seoul, at the Galerie Domus de l’Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, at the École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques di Lyon, at ArtVerona (with VVV8 artecontemporanea gallery), — where one of his works was acquired by the Domus Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art — the VV8 artecontemporanea gallery in Reggio Emilia and the castle of Montecchio Emilia.
In 2015, Gilli participated in Arte Fiera in Bologna. He staged a solo show at the Weber & Weber gallery in Turin and a group show at Paola Sosio Contemporary Art; he also took part in SetUp art fair in Bologna, with a personal exhibition held as part of the Special Projects programme. This was followed by a group show at the VV8 artecontemporanea gallery. His work was shown once again at the Reggio Emilia “European Photography” festival, with a solo show dedicated to the “Blank” project, exhibited at the Chiostri di San Pietro. In the same year, Gilli worked on the Incipit project in partnership with Paola Sosio Contemporary Art; he also exhibited a selection of works from the “Blank” series during the Milan Salone del Mobile, along with the “Menu del giorno” project during EXPO 2015. During the Rencontres de la Photographie he exhibited in a bipersonal at the Omnius Gallery in Arles. In autumn, he participates in Art Verona with the VV8 artecontemporanea gallery.
In 2016 with Paola Sosio Contemporary Art, he presents a preview of the “Raw state” series at the Milan Image Art Fair and at The Others Art Fair in Turin, where he also creates the site specific installation “Attesa” curated by Bruno Barsanti and Greta Scarpa. In the same year he develop a photographic project commissioned by the Ice Yachts company. Some images of the project are exhibited at the Milan Image Art Fair in a personal exhibition.At the end of the year he organizes a personal exhibition at the Confluencegallery in Nantes and exhibitat the Atelier of the same French city a preview of the new project “Un musée après”. In December, the publisher Skira publishes the book “Incipit”, from the homonymous series of photos, with critical texts by Walter Guadagnini, Gianfranco Ravasi and Luca Doninelli.
In 2017, with the support of Paola Sosio Contemporary Art, Gilli was present again at the Milan Image Art Fair and at The Others in Turin, where he exhibited works from the series “Un musée après”, and was then invited to partecipate with a solo exhibition in the opening of the new Art Space of Nicoletta Rusconi. His work was exhibited in Arles at Le Corridoir art contemporain for the project “Emergences”, which featured his photographs along with paintings by Fabien Boitard, and at the Palazzo Grillo in Genova at the exhibition “Oltre il paesaggio”, curated by Giovanni Battista Martini
From January to April 2018 with the support of Paola Sosio Contemporary Art, Gilli showcased the solo exhibition “Di/Stanze” curated by Matteo Bergamini at the Museo Diocesano Chiostri di S. Eustorgio in Milan. With the same gallery, he presented the solo exhibition “Interno in surreale”curated by Matteo Bergamini at the Art Verona in October and in Novembre at The Others Art Fair in Turin. In Decemeber he exhibited the solo work “White noise” at the Die Mauer gallery of contemporary art in Prato in collaborationwith Paola Sosio Contemporary Art. In the same year he exhibited at Kyro Art Gallery in Pietrasanta (LU) and participated in the exhibition “Percorsi paralleli – Mario Trevisan Collection”, at the Museo Santa Giulia in Brescia, curated by Mario Trevisan with Renato Corsini and Luigi Di Corato.
In 2019, from January to June, an extended version of “Interno in surreale” was exhibited at the Bocconi University of Milan, in collaboration with MIA Art Fair and Paola Sosio Contemporary Art. With this Gallery the author also participated in the special project Interni & Torre Velasca, during the Milan Design Week and the new-born The Phair Art Fair in Turin. Still with the support of his reference gallery Paola Sosio Contemporary Art, in the summer of 2019 he exhibited “Sinestesie”, curated by Angela Malesani, at the Antonio Calderara Foundation in Vacciago di Ameno Lago d’Orta. This is a refined dialogue and consonance of spirit between the two artists who, having never known each other, with different ages, traditions and mediums work on the threshold between the visible and the invisible with an extraordinary consonance of spirit. In the summer of 2019 the solo exhibition “Plenum”, curated by Marina Guida, arrived in the historic Villa Lysis in Capri followed in autumn by “PLENUM Napoli edition”, on show at the Maschio Angioino. In July he realized, for the first time in his career, a photoshoot of the w/f collection by Hermès, published on Lampoon in September 2019. In July he completed the site-specific project “La luce dell’Altissimo” made in the Cervaiole quarry of Henraux, in collaboration with Kyro Art Gallery and curated by Matteo Galbiati. This project was also exhibited in the same gallery in Pietrasanta and other locations. In autumn, with the series “Stadium” he participated in the project “Gradazione di luce. Geografie di sguardi tra storia e contemporaneità” curated by Gigliola Foschi and Nadia Stefanel, and promoted by DZ Engineering & Dino Zoli Foundation. The project was previewed in Singapore on the occasion of the Formula 1 GP and eventually in an extended version at the Dino Zoli Foundation in Forlì. In November, during Artissima and the Art Week in Turin, he once again took part in The Others Fair with Paola Sosio Contemporary Art.
His works are to be found in private collections and in Italian and European museums of photography and contemporary art: he Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, the Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi, the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg, the Musée Réattu in Arles, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, the Galleria Civica in Modena, the Fondazione Antonio e Carmela Calderara and more.
Important writers of photography and contemporary art critics and eminent exponents of culture in Italy and France have written about his work.