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Saul Leiter Hardcover – August 21, 2012

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About the Author

Brigitte Woischnik is owner of the agency Foto Factory in Munich, Germany. She has co-curated important photo exhibitions like "Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel" for the Museum Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany.

Ingo Taubhorn is photographer and since 2006 curator at the House of Photography at Museum Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany.

Saul Leiter (born 1923 in Pittsburg, PA) is an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as The New York School of photographers.

Vince Aletti (born 1945) is an American music journalist and photography critic. He was the art editor of the Village Voice from 1994 to 2005 and the paper’s photo critic for twenty years. Today he reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker’s "Goings on About Town" section.

Adam Harrison Levy is a writer and freelance documentary film producer and director. For the past 15 years, he has worked on a wide range of historical and arts films, primarily for the BBC. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Kehrer Verlag; 1ST edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3868282580
  • ISBN-13: 978-3868282580
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Buffy on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This large format hardcover book presents the most complete look at Saul Leiter's career to date. Included are his color photographs, black and white pictures, over-painted photos, commercial fashion photography, and paintings. For the first time you get the full view of his many different activities and while the color photography is the star attraction for me it's interesting to see how everything connects in terms of color and composition. The book itself is a sturdy hardcover with different papers for different sections and the reproductions are the best in print to date. Even if you have earlier books on Saul Leiter this is worth the upgrade. If you don't have any Saul Leiter books this is the best place to start. Recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Campbell on May 6, 2013
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Why, oh why did it have to take so long? Had the Post-War Baby Boomer Generation been aware of Leiter in the sixties and seventies, when so many of us caught the fire, selected and clung to our photo-heros for decades, and started shooting, the history of photography would likely have looked rather different.

The Steidl-published "Early Color" is a teaser compared to this, but a necessary volume, nonetheless. This magnificent volume, beautifully done, is comprehensive, covering Leiter's color and B&W photography and his painting art. Often the manner of Leiter's seeing in B&W and color and his use of color remind me of my number one photo-hero, Ernst Haas, but Leiter's way of seeing is also very different. Both created virtual oeuvres of modernist, expressionist abstracts with their cameras, but this reviewer's impression is that SL played with unfocus much more aggressively than EH, whose abstracts are either focused or smoothed using movement and slow shutter speeds. Both pioneered new ways of using the small format camera in the earliest days of 35mm color film. In their color work, both are or were colorists, and both used a lot of black in their private work. I wonder how much each knew of the other and each other's work. SL's use of color and tonal masses, often in the foreground, and of unexpected framing opportunities caught with exquisite timing are his alone but have come to be among the compositional staples of such as Costa Manos and Alex Webb now.

The several essays summarize information from and about SL and his painting and photography and place him among the so-called "New York School" of photographers from the 30s to the 60s and, in some cases, until today. Thankfully, SL is still with us today.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Diana on December 8, 2012
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This book shows a great retrospective of Saul Leiter's work. Leiter's photographs have a clear pictorial intention in their composition, which becomes evident by the paintings also reproduced here. The gaze of the painter-photographer determines the beautiful and nostalgic images. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. White on January 4, 2014
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Like most of us, I discovered Saul Leiter very recently, via the documentary "In No Great Hurry" when it was first shown in the UK on BBC4 in April. I was initially wholly charmed by the man, and then I saw his photographs. The first serious use of color in fine art photography is attributed mostly to three other photographers, none of them Saul Leiter; the canon must be rewritten. Like much truly great photography, Leiter's work is both understated and bursting, and looking at it you can't be bothered by captious questions about whether photography is art. These photographs have such a draw, such presence and aura (to use Walter Benjamin's terms), and are so much like both cake & meat that the pleasure of viewing them is all that matters, for the moment. Many, most, are abstractions of a sort, but all always firmly grounded in the pictorial. Lower Manhattan in the 1950's is most of that ground, and as with Albert Kahn's photographers' Autochromes of Europe & elsewhere ca. 1908-1930, Leiter's transparencies are an intoxicating and luminous revelation of an otherwise monochrome moment in place (even to those who lived it in color). The colors are so exceptional, so extraordinary and particular they must be called 'Leiter-colors,' & description deferred to experience. They (colors, form, whole) are also nearly tactile, and for all their plane-geometry many photographs have a sense of depth that will envelop you. I have only twice or three times in my life been this excited, as startled by a photographer. These photographs hold my gaze for a long time.

This catalogue raisonnee from Kehrer is a beautiful & thoroughgoing book. Reproduction is excellent & most images are printed here larger than elsewhere.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark B. Kinsman on May 16, 2014
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My initial impression of the book was mixed. The images of his photos and his paintings are well done and offer a further glimpse into the artist's work. Much of the accompanying articles are in German - which was a bit disappointing, only because it was not mentioned in the book description on Amazon and I don't speak the language. However, delving just a bit deeper, reveals that English translations are include in the back of the book and make for a very fascinating read.
Saul Leiter is one of my favorite photographers of the modern era and this book offers a great insight into the man as an artist, with his unique photographic compositions and lovely use of bold color, both photographically and in his paintings. The images are well presented for the most part, with reasonable quality for a book of this sort. There are some painting images inserted as smaller pieces in the middle of the book, which are interesting, but a bit close too the binding for my taste.
One of the most interesting articles is the one by Margit Erb, who I believe may have known him better than many, having spent several years with Saul, organizing and cataloging his body of work. If you've seen any of the documentary film "In No Great Hurry" or any of the other videos of Saul, you've seen that his fondness for Margit was mutual. Her story adds further to the understanding of Saul as an artist, a man of great intellectual curiosity and knowledge of the visual arts. He will be missed, but his work can be celebrated by owning books such as this one. Very Highly recommended.
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