Saul Leiter - Reflection, 1958

Saul Leiter

Homage

06/02/2015

04/04/2015

Gallery FIFTY ONE

Opening reception: Thursday, Feb. 5th 2015 from 6 – 9 pm

Gallery FIFTY ONE is honoured to announce its homage exhibition showing the oeuvre of the late Saul Leiter (1923-2013), a long-term artist-friend of the gallery. This tribute will be conducted in both gallery spaces and will give a large overview of his tender, contemplative and abstract work, including black and white , ‘Early Color’ photography and gouaches on paper.

Read the full press release here.

Saul Leiter - Phone Call, 1957
Saul Leiter - Phone Call, 1957
Saul Leiter - Blue Skirt, 1950s
Saul Leiter - Blue Skirt, 1950s
Saul Leiter - From the El, c. 1955
Saul Leiter - From the El, c. 1955
Saul Leiter - Across the street, c. 1956
Saul Leiter - Across the street, c. 1956

Saul Leiter

Although Edward Steichen exhibited some of Saul Leiter’s color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, for forty years afterwards they remained virtually unknown to the art world. Leiter moved to New York in 1946 intending to be a painter and through his friendship with the abstract expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart he quickly recognized the creative potential of photography. Though he continued to paint, exhibiting alongside Philip Guston and Willem de Kooning, Leiter’s camera became — like an extension of his arm and mind — an ever-present interpreter of life in the metropolis.

The semi-mythical notion of the ‘New York street photographer’ was born at the same time, in the late-1940s. But Leiter’s sensibility — comparable to the European intimism of Bonnard, a painter he greatly admires — placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternative way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances.

biography

Born in Pittsburgh, US in 1923
Died in New York City, US in 2013

 

Saul Leiter - Subway Window, 1950s
Saul Leiter - Pizza Paterson, 1952
Saul Leiter - Pizza Paterson, 1952

None of Leiter’s contemporaries, with the single and partial exception of Helen Levitt, assembled a comparable body of work in color. The lyricism and intensity of his vision come into fullest play in his eloquent handling of color: to the rapid recording of the spontaneous unfolding of life on the street, Leiter adds an unconventional sense of form and a brilliantly improvisational, and frequently almost abstract, use of found colors and tones. Leiter’s visual language of fragmentation, ambiguity and contingency is evoked in Saul Leiter: Early Color by one hundred subtle, painterly images that stretched the boundaries of photography in the second half of the twentieth-century. (source: steidl)

“I happen to believe in the beauty of simple things. I believe that the most uninteresting thing can be very interesting.” - Saul Leiter

De Canvasconnectie - Saul Leiter
De Canvasconnectie - Saul Leiter
Saul Leiter - Mondrian Worker, 1954
Saul Leiter - Mondrian Worker, 1954
Saul Leiter - Through Boards, 1957
Saul Leiter - Through Boards, 1957
Saul Leiter - Canopy 1958
Saul Leiter - Canopy 1958
Saul Leiter - Red Umbrella, 1957
Saul Leiter - Red Umbrella, 1957
Saul Leiter - Snow (Variant), 1960
Saul Leiter - Snow (Variant), 1960
Saul Leiter - T, 1950
Saul Leiter - T, 1950
Saul Leiter - Cracks II, 1957
Saul Leiter - Cracks II, 1957
Saul Leiter - Tanager Stairs, 1954
Saul Leiter - Tanager Stairs, 1954
Saul Leiter - Foot on El, 1954
Saul Leiter - Foot on El, 1954
Saul Leiter - Waiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter - Waiter, Paris, 1959
Saul Leiter - Blue skirt, 1950s
Saul Leiter - Blue skirt, 1950s
Saul Leiter - Sunday Morning, 1947
Saul Leiter - Sunday Morning, 1947
Saul Leiter - Across the street, ca. 1956
Saul Leiter - Across the street, ca. 1956
Saul Leiter - From the El, ca. 1955
Saul Leiter - From the El, ca. 1955
Saul Leiter - Joanna, ca. 1947
Saul Leiter - Joanna, ca. 1947
Saul Leiter - Kathy and Gloria (variant), ca. 1949
Saul Leiter - Kathy and Gloria (variant), ca. 1949
Saul Leiter - Untilted (Jay, nude), 1957
Saul Leiter - Untilted (Jay, nude), 1957
Saul Leiter - Barbara, ca. 1951
Saul Leiter - Barbara, ca. 1951
Saul Leiter - Untitled (Jay, nude), n.d.
Saul Leiter - Untitled (Jay, nude), n.d.
Saul Leiter - Jay in the Bathtub, ca. 1957
Saul Leiter - Jay in the Bathtub, ca. 1957
Saul Leiter - A Very Short Rabbi, ca. 1960
Saul Leiter - A Very Short Rabbi, ca. 1960
Saul Leiter - Untitled, 1969
Saul Leiter - Untitled, 1969