Leiter, Saul

Leiter, Saul

(līt`ər), 1923–2013, American photographer, b. Pittsburgh. A painter in the early 1940s, Leiter switched to photography late in the decade. Along with Robert FrankFrank, Robert,
1924–2019, Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker, b. Zürich. He immigrated to the United States in 1947 and became a citizen in 1963. One of the 20th century's most influential photographers, Frank pioneered the "snapshot aesthetic," in which the
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 and Diane ArbusArbus, Diane
, 1923–71, American photographer, b. New York City. For nearly 20 years Arbus operated a successful fashion photography studio with her husband, Allan Arbus.
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, 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.

Bibliography

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).

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