Saul Leiter (December 3, 1923 – November 26, 2013) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
A self-taught photographer, Leiter undertook his artistic education by spending every summer in the library of the University of Pittsburgh and visiting exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He devoted himself primarily to painting and it is thanks to the abstract expressionist painter Richard Poussette-Dart that he began to take a serious interest in photography. In 1947, he discovered ‘street photography’ by visiting the exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson at MoMA and at the same time became the owner of a Leica. He photographed the streets of New York in black and white and in the following year became interested in colour. In 1953, Saul Leiter opened a photographic studio on Bleecker Street and has worked for thirty years for the most prestigious magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Elle and British Vogue.
Leiter’s work is further distinguished by its indifference to decisive moments of human intercourse. In fact, Leiter might be regarded as the master of the “indecisive” moment – those in-between moments when nothing of much importance seems to be happening but which resonate with a profound if understated sense of interior drama. Leiter is one of photography’s underrated masters, and a living testament to the maxim that the greatest artists are often the most humble and self-deprecating. His black-and-white work was featured in the book “The New York School” and his color images in “Early Color.” The native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, still makes his home in New York City, where he has lived since 1946.