This weekend saw the exciting opening of a retrospective of American photographer Saul Leiter (1923 – 2013) at The Photographers’ Gallery. It features more than 100 works, including early black-and-white and colour photographs, sketchbooks and ephemera and is Leiter’s first major show in a public gallery in the UK.
Seeing himself first as an abstract painter, Leiter found fame only later in his life for his Kodachrome colour images and his work regularly sits beside that of photographers such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore. Though while they were working predominantly in the 60s and 70s epitomising the era of the ‘New Colour Photography’, Leiter was a pioneer, using colour to capture his images of street life, architecture and the essence of New York as early as the 1940s.
Discussing his work Saul Leiter said: I like it when one is not certain what one sees. 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.
I’m completely terrible at catching exhibitions, thinking ‘ooh, that looks interesting!’ only to remember again two days after it’s closed. Saul is most definitely in the diary.
Saul Leiter Retrospective is on at The Photographers’ Gallery 22 Jan – 3 Apr 2016
Free before 12 noon £2.50/£2 advance booking £3/£2.50 on door
Exhibition curated by Ingo Taubhorn, curator, House of Photography/Deichtorhallen Hamburg and curator Brigitte Woischnik.
Saul Leiter: Retrospective has been organised in collaboration with the Deichtorhallen Hamburg – House of Photography.