Saul Leiter: paintings

“I may be old-fashioned, but I believe there is such a thing as a search for beauty – a delight in the nice things in the world. And I don’t think one should have to apologise for it.”  

Saul Leiter in  ‘In No Great Hurry‘, a 2014 documentary about Saul Leiter

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, ca 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

Saul Leiter (1923-2013) was born in Pittsburgh. His Jewish father was a well known Talmud scholar and Saul studied to become a Rabbi. His mother gave him his first camera at age 12. At age 23, he left theology school and moved to New York City to pursue painting. He had developed an early interest in painting and was fortunate to meet the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart, who was experimenting with photography. His interest in photography grew and he started to take pictures of his neighbourhood. The rest is history. Saul Leiter became a pioneering photographer with a very distinct eye.

Despite his photography career, he never gave up painting. In the retrospective exhibition which originated at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and travelled to FOMU in Antwerp, his pioneering pictures were shown next to his colourful paintings; abstract paintings on Japanese silk paper, painted-over nude pictures and small paintings in sketchbooks. A beautiful  artistry of Leiter to be discovered!

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, ca 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache and watercolour over gelatine silver print

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache and watercolour over gelatine silver print

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, sketchbooks

All pictures were taken by me in the Retrospective in FOMU, Antwerp.