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Saul Leiter: Retrospective

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The exhibition includes more than 100 works and brings together a marvellous combination of his early black-and-white and colour street photography, fashion images, paintings, and his sketchbooks. Also on view are the works, which he made throughout the last years of his life, on the streets in his neighbourhood in New York’s East Village. Saul Leiter died shortly before his 90th birthday in 2013. This exhibition curated by Ingo Taubhorn and Brigitte Woischnik is a cooperation with the House of Photography, Deichtorhallen Hamburg and the Saul Leiter Foundation, under the direction of Margit Erb.

Master of Color Photography
Characteristically his images are created by the absence of clear details, the blurring of movement and the reduction in the depth of field, the compensation for low light or the often deliberate avoidance of the light. These aspects as well as a sense of alienation caused by photographing through windows or the use of reflections all blend to create a picture language of colour, fuelled by a semi-real, semi-abstract urban space.

These works epitomize this re-discovered modern master of colour photography of the 1940s and 1950s. As early as 1946, and thus long before the representatives of “New Color Photography” in the 1970s (such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore) he was one of the first to use colour photography for his personal work, despite it being avoided by most artists of the day.

Photographie and Painting
Saul Leiter always saw himself as both painter and photographer. In his paintings and in his photographs he tended toward abstraction with an emphasis on surfaces. In many works, large planes of deep black caused by shadows can take up as much as three quarters of the photographs. Saul Leiter’s very unique street photography, is actually painting that has become photography, as Rolf Nobel writes in the book accompanying the exhibition.

For more information, please visit Fotografie Forum Frankfurt

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