Fifty One Fine Art Photography is proud to present a new solo show of Saul Leiter (USA, b.1923). A
selection of his early black & white photographs, including unpublished ones, from the 50s and 70s will be
presented. Although Leiter is mostly known for his contributions to the field of color photography, in which
he played a pioneering role and developed a distinct visual language, his black & white photographs are
as much witness to his incredible photographic genius as his work in color. Notwithstanding the absence
of color, which often causes the image to be more confronting, Leiter’s distinct style combining an abstract
language with soft graduations is already visible.
Initially formed as a painter, Leiter practices painting and photography in tandem throughout his artistic
career. This dynamic has had a clear impact on his artistic gaze and he created a new visual rhythm. His
typical visual language is one of abstraction: he compresses spatial dynamics, obstructs sights, and gives
up the centered perspective. His painterly sensibility is clearly visible in the soft and unsaturated contrasts
that are inherent in his photographs. Moreover, his use of reflections makes his compositions more
shattered, more tangled.
Leiter’s early black & white photographs capture the energetic street life of New York City in the late 1940s
en 50s based upon his own individual experiences and personal perspectives on the places and people he
Regardless the medium, Saul Leiter’s artistic gaze always ‘composes’ the image. His exquisite visual style
is already noticeable in his early back & white photography of the ‘50s. Today, his photographic oeuvre is
still only partially developed. As such, there is a collection of negatives that has remained undeveloped for
all these years.
HERE’S MORE, WHY NOT
On the occasion of the gallery’s fourth solo show, Saul Leiter has been digging in his archive and selected
34 unpublished color photographs.
The lyricism and intensity of his vision come into fullest play in his eloquent handling of color: to the rapid
recording of the spontaneous unfolding of life on the street, Leiter adds an unconventional sense of form
and a brilliantly improvisational, and frequently almost abstract, use of found colors and tones.
A catalogue will be available at the gallery.