The Wirtz Private Garden
Photography by Marco Valdivia
Tania Compton, Roger Malbert,
Bai Publishers, Schoten, 2009
out of print
The great Belgian landscape architects Jacques and his sons Martin and Peter have designed some of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. Famous for their dramatic command of space and strong sculptural forms, their work combines a modernist aesthetic with a respect for tradition and the spirit of place. At the family home in Schoten, near Antwerp, a former gardener’s cottage attached to an eighteenth-century estate, they have created in their private garden a laboratory for experiment on an intimate scale.
The photographer Marco Valdivia, who recently photographed over a hundred Wirtz gardens for a monumental/ magnificent two-volume catalogue raisonné, has now turned his camera to this private garden, producing a unique meditation on the subtle effects of ligth, space and form through the seasons.
His profound understanding of the Wirtz aesthetic and his sensitivity to the grandeur and delicacy of nature make this one of the finest photographic studies of an intimate garden ever published. Valdivia shoots on film, not digital, and his photographs therefore have a depth and clarity of definition which is unsurpassable.