Saul Leiter  (American, 1923-2013) 

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Saul Leiter (American, 1923–2013) was a photographer and painter whose work was an integral part of the creation of the New York School. Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Leiter studied to become a rabbi. When he was 23 years old, he exchanged school for New York City and a career as an artist. In his early years, Leiter was drawn to painting, and he had the opportunity to meet Richard Pousette-Dart (American, 1916–1992), an Abstract Expressionist painter.

Leiter was encouraged by Pousette-Dart and W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918–1978) to try his hand at photography. He ventured into color photography in 1948. In 1953, Leiter's black-and-white photographs were included in an exhibition of Edward Steichen''s entitled Always the Young Stranger at The Museum of Modern Art. Leiter's color fashion photographs were published by Henry Wolfe (American, 1925–2005) in Esquire and Harper's Bazaar in the late 1950s. This kicked off his 20-year fashion photography career leading to publications in such magazines as British Vogue, Elle, Nova, Show, and Queen. Leiter's work has a quality similar to that of a painting and is unique in the world of photography. In addition to his photography, Leiter continues to paint, potentially the reason for the similarities between his photography and paintings.

Today the photographs that Leiter created are referenced in many colleges and universities in the United States, including the Art Institute of Chicago. Some of the more current solo exhibitions of Leiter's work have been in a retrospective in Hamburg in 2012, at Fifty One Fine Art Photography in Antwerp in 2011, in a show entitled New York Reflections in Amsterdam in 2011, and at Mois de la Foto in Paris in 2010. In 2008, Leiter had six solo exhibitions spanning the globe, including shows in Paris, Milan, New York, and London. His work is known worldwide. Leiter's first museum exhibition in Europe was hosted by the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris. Leiter is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.

Find Saul Leiter artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Saul Leiter, Untitled

 

Saul Leiter
Untitled
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Saul Leiter, Canopy

 

Saul Leiter
Canopy
1958

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Self Portrait

 

Saul Leiter
Self Portrait
circa 1949

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Johanna

 

Saul Leiter
Johanna
circa 1947

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Kim Sunday Morning at the Cloisters

 

Saul Leiter
Kim Sunday Morning at the Cloisters
circa 1947

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Menu Paris

 

Saul Leiter
Menu Paris
1959

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Package

 

Saul Leiter
Package
circa 1960

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Red Curtain

 

Saul Leiter
Red Curtain
1956

Galerie Springer Berlin
Saul Leiter, Through Boards

 

Saul Leiter
Through Boards
1957

Galerie Springer Berlin
Past auction results (38)  View All
Saul Leiter, Through Boards

 

Saul Leiter
Through Boards, 1957
chromogenic print

 

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Saul Leiter, Lanesville

 

Saul Leiter
Lanesville, 1958
chromogenic print, mntd

 

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Saul Leiter, Phone Call

 

Saul Leiter
Phone Call, 1957
c-print

 

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1923   Born in Pittsburgh
1946   Left theological college in Cleveland, moved to New York to pursue painting
1946   Trades some of W. Eugene Smith’s Spanish village photographs for a Leica 1C, makes photographs on streets of New York
1947   Attended Beaumont Newhall’s exhibition of Cartier-Bresson’s work at MoMA, confirms his desire to become a photographer
1953   25 images included in Steichen’s Always the Young Stranger exhibition at MoMA
1953   Opened studio on Bleecker St. for portrait, fashion, and advertising photography
1957   Fashion color work first published by Henry Wolf at Esquire
1960   Photo essays for Elle and Show, active in fashion work in England
1963   Moved studio to lower Fifth Avenue (until 1981)
2013   Died in New York, NY
2008   London, Faggionato Fine Arts, Saul Leiter Early Colour 1948-1959
2008   New York, Howard Greenberg Gallery, Saul Leiter: Women
2008   Saul Leiter, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris (solo)
2007   Saul Leiter: Early Color, University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor (solo)
2007   Pieces of a City. Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
2007   Mapping the City. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2007   When Color Was New. Art Institute of Chicago
2006   In Living Color: Photographs by Saul Leiter, Milwaukee Art Museum (solo)
2006   Saul Leiter: Color, Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp (solo)
2006   The Fashion Photographs of Saul Leiter, Festival of Fashion Photography, Hyeres, France (solo)
2006   Color Photography. Amon Carter Museum, Texas.
2006   The Streets of New York. National Gallery of art Washington, DC.
2005   Saul Leiter: Early Color Work, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York (solo)
2004   Saul Leiter: In Color, Staton Greenberg Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA (solo)
2002   New York: Capital of Photography. The Jewish Museum, New York.
2002   New York Scene: Ted Croner, Sid Grossman, Saul Leiter and Leon Levinstein. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.
2002   Visions From American: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art 1940-2001. Whitney Museum, New York.
1998   Look at Me, Fashion and Photography in Britain 1960 to the Present. British Council, European Touring Exhibition.
1997   Saul Leiter In Color, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York (solo)
1997   Saul Leiter In Color, Martha Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
1996   Delirium, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
1995   By Night, Cartier Foundation, Paris
1994   Outside Fashion: Style and Subversion. Howard Greenberg Gallery
1994   The New York School, Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee
1993   Saul Leiter Photography 1945-1970, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York (solo)
1991   Appearances: Fashion Photography Since 1945, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
1985   Gallery Lafayette, New York
1984   Gallery Lafayette, New York
1953   Contemporary Photography, Tokyo Museum, Tokyo
1953   Always the Young Stranger, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1950   Tanager Gallery, New York
1950   Samuel Koonst Gallery, New York
1947   Abstract and Surrealist Art, Art Institute of Chicago
1947   Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
1945   The Outlines Gallery, Pittsburgh
1944   Ten Thirty Gallery, Cleveland
1991    Appearances: Fashion Photography
1989    The Correspondent Magazine: Saul Leiter Rediscovered/Martin Harrison
1961    Infinity: Saul Leiter’s World/Rob Cowley