Leiter, Saul

Leiter, Saul līt´ər [key], 1923–2013, American photographer, b. Pittsburgh. A painter in the early 1940s, Leiter switched to photography late in the decade. Along with Robert Frank and Diane Arbus, he is considered a member of the 1940s and 50s New York school, but he experimented with color photography instead of concentrating on stark black-and-white. He specialized in New York City street photographs that are sensitive, often painterly and abstract, and intensely personal. Although he was among the finest art photographers of his era and has been called one of the most important early color photographers, his work was little known until the 21st cent.; many of his images have been exhibited only rarely or remain unprinted.

See his Saul Leiter: Early Color (2006) and Saul Leiter (2008); J. Livingston, The New York School: Photographs, 1936–1963 (1992); V. Aletti et al., Saul Leiter (2012); T. Leach, dir., In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter (documentary, 2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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