Saul Leiter. RetrospectiveOn February 2, 2017 by Yelena
This Autumn, FOMU ( photography museum in Antwerp) presents a retrospective of the work of Saul Leiter ( 1923 – 2013 ),
a pioneer of colour photography.
Leiter was already using colour film in 1946 at a time when only black and white
photography was accepted as an artistic medium.
This fact negates the commonly-held assumption that colour images were used from late 1970s onwards
with the advert of the New Colour Photography movement led by Stephen Shore and William Eggleston.
Saul Leiter considered himself to be a painter as well as a photographer.
His work in both disciplines is linked by a common visual style: abstraction and flatness.
He mainly photographed the streets of New York, where he lived for over sixty years.
The compositions depict mirrors, windows, road signs, buildings and passers-by.
The urban elements blur into amorphous colours that form an important feature of each image.
This exhibition is displaying both Leiter’s colour and his black-and-white photographs, as well as a selection of his
paintings and work that has never been shown before.
The exhibition is a partnership between Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hmburg, Gallery Fifty One Antwerp,
Saul Leiter Foundation, Howard Greenberg Gallery and FOMU Antwerp.
Saul Leiter was born in Pennsylvania in the family of Talmud Scolar . At age of 23 he left theology and moved to NY to
become an artist. He decided to devote himself to painting. Luckily Saul was fortunate to meet an artist
Richard Pousette-Dart. W.Eugene Smith and Pousette-Dart encouraged Leiter to pursue the photography. In 1948 he started to
take colour photographs. He began associating with new generation of photographers such as Diane Arbus and Robert Frank.
He worked as a fashion photographer for 20 years and his works were featured in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen and Nova.
His street photography is full of sensibility and quiet humanity.
His camera has a unique way of seeing and reflecting reality with vivid cinematographic quality.