“A window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous person,” Saul Leiter RIP

16 Dec
Taxi (photo: by Saul Leiter)

Taxi (photo: by Saul Leiter)

You will understand if I suggest that most of the great photography of the 20th century was rendered in black and white—most of the photography I came into contact with was by Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capra, Walker Evans and the FSA archives. Though color film was available early in that century most serious photographers didn’t make use of it until midcentury, apparently heeding Cartier Bresson’s disregard for that medium. And then there was New York street photographer Saul Leiter.

If you missed the New York Times notice of the 89 year old Leiter’s passing in late November, its another one of those bittersweet stories of a life as an artist. Relatively unknown (mostly by choice) there is a sufficient (for lack of a better word) of Leiter’s imagery to honor his place in photographic history (though like Garry Winogrand,thousands of Leiter’s images have gone unprinted). The latest Leiter monograph Saul Leiter by Vince Aletti, Adam Harrison Levy, Carrie Springer, Margit Erb, Rolf Nobel, Ulrich Rüter, Brigitte Woischnik, Ingo Taubhorn, Saul Leiter(Kehrer Verlag) was published in 2012 and no doubt more will follow

Saul Leiter by   Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter by Saul Leiter

There is also the 2012 documentary In No Great Hurry : 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter

My Father’s Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain by Patricio Pron (Knopf)

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