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Death of Saul Leiter


The American photographer Saul Leiter died on November 26. He was 89 years old. Belatedly recognized as a pioneer of color photography, he began working in color in the 1950s, at a time when photographers swore by black-and-white. His efforts contributed to its eventual widespread use. Shy, tender and a little grumpy, Leiter loved the near-abstract compositions he spotted in the street while simply buying groceries or getting a coffee in his New York neighborhood. His photographs show the wonder and humor that define his vision of the world, as well as his taste for painting, Vuillard and Bonnard in particular. To make a living, he worked as a fashion photographer for the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar. But it was his explorations of daily life that became the subject of celebrated books and exhibitions in the 1990s, when the photo world began to see him as one of William Eggleston’s equals. He would only be able to enjoy his fame another twenty years, and was never made wealthy from his work, perhaps because he had the humility of the “great photographers.”

Jonas Cuénin

You can read the beautiful piece written by Margalit Fox for the New York Times

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