Saul Leiter, Untitled (pink umbrella), c.1950
Saul Leiter, Harlem, 1960
Saul Leiter, Foot on El, 1952
Saul Leiter, Mondrian Worker, 1954
Saul Leiter, Through Boards, 1957
Saul Leiter, Waiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter, Red Umbrella, 1957
Saul Leiter, Don't Walk
Saul Leiter, Tanager Stairs, 1954
Saul Leiter, Postman, 1952
Saul Leiter, Snow, 1960
Saul Leiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter, Yellow Scarf, 1956
Saul Leiter, Haircut, 1956
Saul Leiter, Fire Hydrant, 1957
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