Some more treasure from the Saul Leiter Archive
He broke onto the scene briefly n 1955 when he was included in an exhibit at MOMA.
Then for about 40 years, the name Saul Leiter was fairly obscure from the photography world.
In recent years that has taken a 180º turn.
I first saw his work at Paris-Photo, a few years back at the Howard Greenberg Booth.
There was no mistaking the artistry.
He captured the streets of NY, through a non-confrontational lens. The palette appears to be Kodachrome, and as Paul Simon said, it gives you those nice bright colors.
But the rediscovery of this color work did have side affect: the classic film did age and the color did shift.
Now we can easily technicealy restore the original color but that muted palette seems to endorse the current passion of Mr. Leiter: Painting.
In his mid 90’s, the charming, fun loving (he signed my last copy of his book with pen and rubber stamps, smiling all the way),is not all that comfortable with all of this new fame and eschews the constant requests for interviews.
Which makes the new publication so special.
Roger Szmulewicz owns Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery, and has made 4 solo exhibitions of Saul Leiter’s work.
And like every good gallerist, they was a bond created and more importantly a trust with the artist.
For the most recent showing, Roger visited Mr. Leiter, and part of the meeting resulted in the new catalog, consisting of 34 previously unpublished photographs.
Hand picked by Mr. Leiter.
What i see is a further insight into the shooting style. His framing of the foreground bits to set the main subject in it’s own space,shows an observance, with out intrusion.
Reflections, and detail imagery, belie the coming painting media to his hands. There is particular winter scene, that straddles the line of photography and painting, as a man struggles against a swirling mass of white snow enveloping him in a curving wind.
© Saul Leiter: “Package”, 1960
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