22 Jan - 3 Apr 2016
Taxi, c 1957 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Snow, 1960 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Saul Leiter Foot on El, 1954 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Saul Leiter Postmen, 1952 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
A Prolific New York Photographer Comes Back Into Focus New York Times
Once lost to obscurity, this photographer is now a legend
It seems remarkable that Saul Leiter (1923-2013) is only just beginning to acquire significant mainstream recognition for his pioneering role in the emergence of colour photography.
He moved to New York intent on becoming a painter, which he continued in parallel with his photography, yet ended up working for magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Elle and British Vogue and became known for his fashion work.
As early as 1946, and thus two decades before the 1970s new colour photography school (William Eggleston, Stephen Shore et al), Leiter was using Kodachrome colour slide film for his free artistic shots, despite it being despised by artists of the day. Instinctively for him, colour was the picture.
"I don't have a philosophy, I have a camera." Saul Leiter
An iconoclast who pursued his vision through signature framing devices, bold hues and relective surfaces, Leiter manages to transform seemingly ordinary street scenes in close proximity to his New York apartment into visual poetry.
Free before 12 noon
£2.50/£2 advance booking
£3/£2.50 on door
You can download the exhibition text here.
You can also read an essay inspired by the exhibition by Brett Rogers – Leitmotif: The Alchemy of Saul Leiter’s Colour Photography, taken from Loose Associations Vol 2, available from our online Bookshop
Curated by Ingo Taubhorn and Brigitte Woischnik
In collaboration with the Deichtorhallen Hamburg - House of Photography
Leiter is recognised… as a pioneer of colour street photography, working in a distinctive, semi-abstract style that in its apparent randomness makes it hard to imitate. His photographs are in many ways similar to his paintings, multi-layered and tonally complex, washed with intersecting planes of colour.
Leiter…was a photographer of an entirely different order: an artist whose boundary-defying work segued effortlessly from street scenes to formal portraiture, from fashion to architecture.
Elliptical, poetic, beautifully crafted, Leiter’s images are impossible to pin down. They rarely show us the New York we think we know. Yet they could never be of anywhere else.
Christian House /The Sunday Telegraph
“Mesmerising…visiting this exhibition will bring a jolt of joy to your day”
Ben Luke /The Evening Standard
‘Electrified Photography…this show proves he is one of the greats.’
‘Pure, exhilarating visual pleasure’
Hattie Crisell: New York Times
‘His rise back to fame was because people just couldn’t help stumbling over and over him, and realizing that the world needed to know him.’
‘…at The Photographers’ Gallery… Leiter’s work comes back into focus.’
‘…a pioneer of colour photography: He developed a distinctive, dreamy style that played with shallow depths of field and a vibrant palette.’
Sarah Kent /The Arts Desk