Photographer Saul Leiter: A Retrospective is now up and running at the Bunkamura Museum of Art in Tokyo. The expansive exhibition features more than 200 works, including paintings, painted nudes, and ephemera such as Leiter’s cameras and personal correspondence, in addition to classic and previously unseen photographs. The new book All About Saul Leiter, from Seigensha Art Publishing, was released to coincide with the show. During the opening weekend (April 29-30), Saul Leiter Foundation director Margit Erb and exhibition curator Pauline Vermare gave talks on the artist’s life and work, and Tomas Leach’s Leiter documentary, In No Great Hurry, was screened at Bunkamura’s Le CinĂ©ma. The show closes on June 25. Photo by Yuya Furukawa
To accompany Saul Leiter’s first exhibition in Japan, at the Bunkamura Museum of Art in Tokyo, the French digital magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie presents “Saul Leiter, the New York Nabi”Â by Pauline Vermare, the curator of the Japanese show. Exploring the significant influence of Japanese art on Leiter’s work, Vermare says, “His atelier actually looked very much like a traditional Japanese houseâ€Żâ€”â€Żthe dark wood, the spectacularly tall glass window letting in the northern light, theâ€Żvery Japanese garden outside. As Junâ€™ichirĂ´ Tanizaki wrote in In Praise of Shadows, ‘We love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them.â€™”
As part of the Whitney Stories video series, the visual artist Vik Muniz talks about two 1950s photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Artâ€™s collection, â€śShoe of the Shoeshine Boyâ€ť by Saul Leiter and â€śMetropolitan Life Insurance Buildingâ€ť by Robert Frank. â€śMy grandmother used to tell me when you meet people you have to look at their shoes,â€ť Muniz says while discussing the Leiter image. â€śBecause their shoes are so revealing of what they want to do, and what they want to be, and how they want to behave.â€ť
In the Talk of the Town column in The New Yorkerâ€™s April 3, 2017, issue, Rebecca Mead chats at Howard Greenberg Gallery with Fay Ennis, the subject of Saul Leiterâ€™s famous late-’40s â€śFay Smokingâ€ť photograph. â€śWe were completely Platonic,â€ť Ennis, who’s now a spry 92, says in the piece, titled â€śTreasuring Saul Leiterâ€™s Moody Black-and-White Photographs.â€ť (Itâ€™s called â€śCool Momâ€ť in the print version of the magazine.) â€śI was never his muse.â€ť
In advanceÂ of the Leiter exhibition opening on April 29 at the Bunkamura Museum of Art in Tokyo, the Saul Leiter Foundation hosted a group of writers and photographers from Japan in February as they assembled pre-showÂ press. The visit was organized by NYC & Company and included representatives from Geijutsu Shincho, Have a nice PHOTO!, Figaro Japon, Coyote, and Fashion Tsushin. In addition to visiting Howard Greenberg Gallery and viewing MoMAâ€™s collection of Leiter photographs, the journalists were given an East Village tour, walking in Saulâ€™s footsteps past the scenes of some of his best-known photographs, including â€śTanager Stairs.â€ť
The latest installment of Saul Leiterâ€™s European traveling exhibition, Retrospective, ended on Sunday, January 29, at the Fotomuseum (FOMU) in Antwerp, Belgium. The final day was highlighted by a pair of lectures and guided tours given by Saul Leiter Foundation director Margit Erb and exhibition co-curator Brigitte Woischnik. The crowds remained strong throughout the show’s three-month run, and the last weekend was no exception. A parallel exhibition of Leiterâ€™s black-and-white work, at Roger Szmulewiczâ€™s Gallery Fifty One Too, also in Antwerp, ended over the weekend as well.
Saul Leiterâ€™s latest exhibition is opening on Friday, October 28, at the Fotomuseum (FOMU) in Antwerp, Belgium. It runs until January 29, 2017. The show, Retrospective, originated at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and includes color and black-and-white photographs, paintings, and new discoveries from the Saul Leiter Foundation. Featured in the exhibit is a brand-new short film about the foundation, directed by Marc Lesser of Lucky Tiger Productions.
On May 22, 2013, Leiter was interviewed in front of an audience at New York Cityâ€™s School of Visual Arts, by New Yorker photography critic Vince Aletti. Their fascinating and freewheeling conversation is available on YouTube.
In T Magazineâ€™s â€śA Prolific New York Photographer Comes Back Into Focusâ€ť Hattie Crisell, promoting Leiterâ€™s show at Londonâ€™s Photographersâ€™ Gallery, says of the artistâ€™s color work, â€śHe developed a distinctive, dreamy style that played with shallow depths of field and a vibrant palette.â€ť
â€śLeiterâ€™s images of mid-century Manhattan are dreamy masterworks, the photographic equivalent of the poetic oils his great hero Pierre Bonnard had produced in the south of France a generation earlier,â€ť Christian House writes in the Telegraphâ€™s five-star review of the Saul Leiter: Retrospective show at the Photographersâ€™ Gallery in London. â€śLeiterâ€™s metropolis is an elemental, almost pastoral, environment.â€ť
â€śEven after the plaudits started to rain down after the publication of his now essential book, Early Color, in 2006, Saul Leiter was a reluctant legend,â€ť Kenneth Dickerman writes in the Washington Post. The piece coincides with Leiterâ€™s early-2016 show in London, at the Photographersâ€™ Gallery.
In â€śCatching Hold of the Devious City,â€ť in the New York Review of Books, Michael Greenberg digs deep into Saul Leiterâ€™s life and art, examining the artistâ€™s place in the New York School as well as analyzing the personal nature of his work. â€śHe stands apart from his contemporaries in the way he seemed to let his photographs seep toward him,â€ť Greenberg writes. â€śYou almost never get the sense that he has muscled his images into being.â€ť
â€ś[Leiterâ€™s] take was glancing and indirect but tenderâ€”the fond regard of a lover who sees and forgives every ď¬‚aw,â€ť Vince Aletti says in his intro to this New Yorker portfolio of color and black-and-white photographs.
Click here to read Aperture.orgâ€™s â€śFrom the Archive: A Visit With Saul Leiterâ€ť by Eric Banks, which originally ran in Aperture issue 212, from fall 2013.
â€śElliptical, poetic, beautifully crafted, Leiterâ€™s images are impossible to pin down,â€ť Andrew Dickson writes in â€śMade in Manhattan: How Saul Leiter Found Beauty in Gothamâ€™s Glass and Grime,â€ť on TheGuardian.com. â€śThey rarely show us the New York we think we know. Yet they could never be of anywhere else.â€ť
In Mekado Murphyâ€™s recent New York Times piece â€śTodd Haynes Collects Images to Guide the Feel of His Films,â€ť director Haynes talks about the image books he makes to share with his collaborators, discussing Saul Leiterâ€™s influence on his latest movie, Carol.