Saul Leiter: Retrospective

An exhibition examining a world behind the lens as seen through the eyes of Saul Leiter, now showing at the Photographer’s Gallery in London. Capturing the unadorned streets, Leiter  expresses an elegance in the mundane and the mediocre, of work and life; the everyday persistence within the city.

Saul Leiter - Red Umbrella, 1958 Saul Leiter - Postmen, 1952 Saul Leiter

‘I never thought of the urban environment as isolating. I leave these speculations to others. It’s quite possible that my work represents a search for beauty in the most prosaic and ordinary places. One doesn’t have to be in some faraway dreamland in order to find beauty.’ Saul Leiter

Leiter was born in 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to an Orthodox Jewish family. His photography overlaps and fuses together genres of portraiture, still life, fashion, architecture and street life. Leiter’s subjects which include the recurrent motifs of signs, umbrellas, shop windows and passers-by, are located in his home town of New York where he lived for 60 years.

Saul Leiter - Snow (1), 1960Saul Leiter - Snow, 1960‘The lack of clear detail, the blurring of movement and the reduction in depth of field, as well as the use of windows and shadows as natural filters, combine to create a photographic language of colour and abstraction set against the urban space.’ The Photographer’s Gallery
Saul Leiter - Through Boards, ca. 1957

‘Seeing is a neglected enterprise.’ Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter - Self-Portrait with Inzec, 1947

‘When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.’ Saul Leiter

The exhibition is on until the 3rd of April 2016. For more info visit The Photogrpaher’s Gallery.


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