Saturday, August 28, 2010

Artist of the Week: Saul Leiter

Sign Painter, 1954

Saul Leiter was an American photographer who was associated the New York School. I am a huge fan of his work as well as his other peers from this time in the art world. Although I am a fan of his early works from the 1940s and 1950s, I am most interested in his color photographs from the late 1950s and 60s. He shows his viewers how to see beauty from a different perspective - not in the sense of Diane Arbus but in the sense that one can find beauty even on what some would find a daily activity or even just an "ugly" day. He draws the eye of the viewer into his work by focusing on subjects that seem so simple, mundane and ugly but at the same time are so beautiful. This beauty if emphasized by the way Leiter presents his subjects and is key to his artwork. A great example of this are the two following photos:

Snow, 1960

Through Boards, 1957

I find Saul's work to be painterly like and his work often brings a smile to my face. He initially became famous for his black and whites in the 1940s and early 1950s and thus here is an example.

Joanna, 1947

You can find several great monographs on Saul Leiter's work at