United States

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /data/sites/web/28vignonstreetcom/www/artist_single.php on line 344

Saul Leiter

USA, 1923 - 2013

Nowadays Saul Leiter doesn’t need much introduction. He is mostly known for his street photographs, taken in his beloved East Village district in New York, where he lived and worked for more than 60 years. Leiter is celebrated as an early pioneer of colour photography. His photographic style was strongly influenced by his practices as a painter. His compositional approach and his painterly handling of colour give away his artistic background. In his innovative photographical language Leiter rejected the centered perspective and constructed complex multilayered compositions. Often the view is obstructed or blurred by the use of reflections, condensed surfaces or the placement of insignificant elements or passers-by on the foreground.

The focus on Leiters’ colour pictures has been at the expense of his black-and-white work. In the latter he could experiment more with strong contrasts, like the shadow of a window frame on a nude female body. In his nude photographs the subject demands more attention, often laying stretched-out on the bed, looking frontal in the camera. But the female nude can also be observed, for instance, from a distance in a mirror reflection. This indirectness provides these pictures with a familiar and melancholic atmosphere. 

Leiter managed to retain all these typical elements in his lesser known work as a fashion photographer for leading fashion magazines like Elle, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar. Even in his commissioned work, he dared to leave the subject out of central focus. Moreover, the delicate colour palette and soft graduations reinforce the sense of elegance and grace of his colour photographs.

Although today Leiter is renowned for this use of colour, he spent a big part of his life in oblivion. In 2006 his famous monograph ‘Saul Leiter: Early colour’ was published, which celebrated Leiter as a pioneer in colour photography. From then on several other monographs and international exhibitions followed such as solo shows in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, and a group exhibition in the National Academy Museum in New York.

In 2012 British film director Tomas Leach made a documentary called ‘In no great hurry. 13 lessons in life with Saul Leiter’ which offered a glimpse into the private and artistic life of Leiter.

Follow this artist

We will inform you as soon as we receive new works or books by this artist.

Share this artist

Share this artist on your preferred social media

Related artists

Harry Gruyaert
Garry Winogrand
Desiree Dolron
William Klein
Ray K. Metzker

Included in these exhibitions

About Love - Currently showing
FOCUS: Benrido Collotype Atelier - Past exhibitions
NUDES F >< M - Past exhibitions
Saul Leiter: Discoveries from the Slide Archive - Past exhibitions
About Love - Past exhibitions
Cookie policy
28 Vignon Street uses cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing, you agree to these cookies. You can read all about it in our cookie policy.

Selecting your country will allow 28VignonStreet to offer you services adapted to your location.

Choose your country
Choose your language
Choose your currency

Warning: mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /data/sites/web/28vignonstreetcom/www/php/mawfunc.php on line 941

Warning: mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /data/sites/web/28vignonstreetcom/www/php/mawfunc.php on line 941

Warning: mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /data/sites/web/28vignonstreetcom/www/php/mawfunc.php on line 941