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Saul Leiter 'Black & White' (basement)    Apr 26 - Jul 13, 2013

Saul Leiter
Auto, circa 1960
Saul Leiter
Cap, circa 1960
Construction Site
Saul Leiter
Construction Site, 1950-1955
Horn & Hardart
Saul Leiter
Horn & Hardart, circa 1959
Jean with cup
Saul Leiter
Jean with cup, 1948
Saul Leiter
Kim, circa 1947
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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 A selection of his early black & white photographs, including unpublished ones, from the 50s and 70s will be presented.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 encountered.

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.


On the occasion of the gallery’s fourth solo show, Saul Leiter has been digging in his archive and selected 34 unpublished color photographs.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.

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