Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter, Untitled pink umbrella, c. 1950
Saul Leiter, Untitled (pink umbrella), c.1950

Saul Leiter, Harlem, 1960
Saul Leiter, Harlem, 1960

Sault Leiter, Foot on El, 1952
Saul Leiter, Foot on El, 1952

Saul Leiter, Mondrian Worker, 1954
Saul Leiter, Mondrian Worker, 1954

Saul Leiter, Through Boards, 1957
Saul Leiter, Through Boards, 1957

Saul Leiter, Waiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter, Waiter, Paris, 1959

Saul Leiter, Red Umbrella, 1957
Saul Leiter, Red Umbrella, 1957

Saul Leiter, Don't Walk
Saul Leiter, Don't Walk

Saul Leiter, Tanager Stairs,1954
Saul Leiter, Tanager Stairs, 1954

Saul Leiter, Postman, 1952
Saul Leiter, Postman, 1952

Saul Leiter, Snow, 1960
Saul Leiter, Snow, 1960

Saul Leiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter, Paris, 1959

Saul Leiter, Yellow Scarf, 1956
Saul Leiter, Yellow Scarf, 1956

Saul Leiter, Haircut, 1956
Saul Leiter, Haircut, 1956

Saul Leiter, Fire Hydrant, 1957
Saul Leiter, Fire Hydrant, 1957

Saul Leiter, Canopy, 1958
Saul Leiter, Canopy, 1958

Saul Leiter was born in Pittsburgh in 1923, the son of a rabbi. Leiter's interest in art began in his late teens, and at 23, he quit theology school and moved to New York to pursue painting. That year he met the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart, who was experimenting with photography. Leiter's friendship with Pousette-Dart and, soon after, with W. Eugene Smith inspired his involvement with photography.

Leiter's earliest black and white photographs show an extraordinary affinity for the medium, and by the 1950s he also began to work in color. Edward Steichen included 23 of Leiter's black and white photographs in the exhibition “Always the Young Stranger” at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. Leiter's first exhibition of color photography was held in the 1950s at the Artist's Club--a meeting place for many of the Abstract Expressionist painters of that time. In the late 1950s, the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter's color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper's Bazaar. Leiter continued to work as a fashion photographer for the next 20 years and was also published in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen and Nova.

Saul Leiter made an enormous contribution in the area of color photography. His distinctively subdued color, often had an overall hue and a painterly quality that stands out among the work of his contemporaries. In “The New York School,” Jane Livingston wrote, "The very fact that color becomes the subject of the photographs places Leiter's work in another realm-a realm that is unabashedly artistic." Mr. Leiter has said about his own photography: "I don't believe that black and white is sacred or that color is profane. In my own work they have both been equally important."

Leiter's work is featured in the book The New York School: Photographs 1936-1963 by Jane Livingston and in Appearances: Fashion Photography Since 1945 by Martin Harrison. More recently, Steidl has pubishled three monographs on his work, Saul Leiter: Early Color (2006), Saul Leiter (2008) and Saul Leiter: Early Black and White (2008). His work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Baltimore Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and other public and private collections.

Biography found here

Images found here and here



Alisa said...

I really like these!

blueviolet said...

I am really digging the canopy one.

Farah said...

I like these! I love the vintage and grainy look ♥

Haute World said...

Incredible. I also like how these are like snippets of every day life and have the vintage look without looking too contrived (especially the Paris shots... I've seen a lot of retro kitsch Paris pictures). I like the Tanager Stairs and Snow the most.

jorg wobblington lopez said...

These definitely have a painterly effect. So great.

Raina Cox said...

I adore you art posts.

And your posts of skeevy things.

Leiter's photos are not skeevy things.

Heidi said...

Lovely photos. The first one - Pink Umbrella is my favorite. He had an interesting perspective.

Melanie's Randomness said...

How beautiful!! I love that the pictures are not your average angle or what you would think would be the main focus of the photo. I love the Love one with the steamy window!! =)

Melanie's Randomness Maegan said...

omg these are fucking fantastic!!!! {exclamation point}

Kristine said...

Gorgeous, but I bet Paul Farber's work is better.

Brooke said...

Love these: the subdued color and the authentic vintage feel. Totally beats photoshopping in the vintage look.

TK Kerouac said...

love the emotion in his work and the shots make you think,
hes not obvious and evident.

Pretty Little World said...

I'm wondering whether or not I could just live in some of these photographs. They're kind of marvelous.

Kathryn said...

I love how he has captured these slice-of-life time capsules.

K.Line said...

I love this stuff!

Kimbirdy said...

those photos are so so magical! he's an amazing artist... speaking of art, thank you for your sweet comment - it made my day! and yes, lawfirm job = strong desire to kill self.

Dancing Branflake said...

I just love when you feature art work. So much depth and passion.
Thanks for all your car buying tips! So helpful and it totally was what I needed.

bananas. said...

dude! doesn't the guy in haircut look like donald draper from mad men? he TOTALLY does!!! i hope you watch that show because it rocks.

i think my life is the harlem one. i almost always at my house. or the bar. i consider my heritage to be imported...and botanical, i guess. harlem is in NY and i heart NY. and sometimes i swear i was a black man in another life.

Caroline said...

Oh em geeeeeeeeeee.

Love love love love.

Adiya said...

Oooh, i'm surprised at how much i like these- especially the one with the old waiter.

mermaid gallery said...

brilliant...I loved every one....such atmosphere and restrain...really caught that 50's feel....

Isabel said...

these are amazing!

Kara said...

Haunting and beautiful.....there's a lot of neat photography out there, but this moved me to comment.

tulpen said...

Love these little peeks!! The foot on the seat is my favorite.

vint junky said...

Outstanding images! The best photography I've came across in a long while. Will most definitely be checking out

Down and Out Chic said...

wow, i love the almost painterly quality of these photographs.

Chessa! said...

wow. these are beautiful. so telling and yet so subtle. I love them. thanks for sharing. I have to go check out more of his work now.