Saturday, January 11, 2014


Lily-stem green Suit - Marquise

                        Lily-spike green suit - Frank Gallant

A story in Lensculture online, Saul Leiter: 1950-60s color and black-and-white, quotes the Art critic Robert Smith. "Mr. Leiter was a photographer less of people than perception itself. His painters instincts served him well in his emphasis on surface, spatial ambiguity, and a lush carefully calibrated palette. But the abstract allure of his work doesn't rely on soft focus, a persistent, often irritating photographic ploy, or the stark isolation of details, in the manner of Aaron Siskind or early Harry Callahan. Instead, Mr. Leiter Captured the passing illusions of everyday life with a precision that might almost seem scientific, if it weren't so poetically resonant and visually layered."

Water lily green coat - George Carmel

Having perused countless Harper's Bazaar issues of the years that Leiter contributed to, Robert Smith's assessment resonates. I have noticed a signature style to a Saul Leiter fashion photograph and can pretty much spot his fashion work on demand.

There is always a soft handle on the garment being presented, and an overall ambiguous quality suggesting a collaboration between the fashion, the model, and the life that is taking place nearby - so cleverly executed within the confines of his frame.

Water lily green coat - Seymour Fox

Saul Leiter

Water Lily Green
Harper's Bazaar 1959
Photography: Saul Leiter

... eyes on the great photographers at devodotcom

No comments: