Saul Leiter: B + W and Painted Nudes
Saul Leiter is known for his enormous contribution in the area of color photography, distinguished by an overall hue and a painterly quality that stands out among the work of his contemporaries. In The New York School, Jane Livingston wrote, "The very fact that color becomes the subject of the photographs places Leiter's work in another realm—a realm that is unabashedly artistic." Leiter has said about his own photography: "I don't believe that black and white is sacred or that color is profane. In my own work they have both been equally important."
Jackson Fine Art’s upcoming exhibition explores Leiter’s nude portraiture in black and white, and the relationship between that work and Leiter’s unique use of color with a series of painted silver gelatin prints. Leiter developed the practice of painting over his photographs of nude figures, creating hundreds of these works from the 1960’s to the early 1990’s. His combination of two mediums that are traditionally kept scrupulously apart has left us with a striking body of work, recalling both the Impressionists and the erotic energy of Egon Schiele.
Saul Leiter's work is featured in the book The New York School: Photographs 1936-1963 by Jane Livingston and in Appearances: Fashion Photography Since 1945 by Martin Harrison. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Baltimore Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and many other public and private collections. Starting in 2006 Leiter's work has experienced a surge of popularity after a monograph, Early Color, was published. Saul Leiter lived and worked in New York until he passed away in November, 2013.