Saul Leiter has become known as one of the great colorists and photographers of our time. He spent 60 years photographic the streets of New York City. His work embodied both elements of Abstract Expressionism and Japanese minimalism. His work embodied themes of umbrellas, snow, café’s and brightly colored cars. His work abstracted in reflection and glass distortion. He was an innovator.
Saul Leiter passed away this week at the age of 89. Behind him he left a beautiful legacy that pioneered artistic innovation in color photography.
Saul grew up in a Talmudic household and as a young man started seminary to become a Rabi. He soon left to got to New York and pursue his other love, art. Originally a painter, Saul was encouraged by his mentor and friends to consider photography.
Saul had a long healthy career working as a photographer. His professional work was mainly black and white working in fashion and photojournalism. But Saul was pursuing an enormous practice of color photography on his own doing personal work. These images were unknown to the world for the most part until their discovery in the late 1990’s – many of the images shot on Kodachrome and never printed. With the publication of “Saul Leiter: Early Color” in 2006, Saul has secured his place as possibly the most important colorist since William Eggleston.