Saul Leiter


One of the main reasons for my recent visit to Milwaukee a few weeks ago was to see the Saul Leiter show at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Saul is a painter and a photographer whose early photographs in color kodachrome, show that abstraction exists in the real world. Saul made most of the work in the exhibition in the 1950’s of everyday street scenes but created abstractions by clever cropping, reflections, wet weather conditions or simple blurring (Uta Barth eat yer heart out).

I met Saul back in the day (96/97) when I worked at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, and one of my most treasured experiences of my short time there was meeting Saul. Not only would his presence cause the usual gallery pandemonium to halt but his incessant giggling was as infectous as the flu on a handrail (is that even a euphamism?). One of my favorite things anyone ever said to me as a photographer was from Saul. Late one night after showing him a box of my own work, he commented how I had too many pictures. When I asked why that was a bad thing he replied, if you can make one really good picture a year, I mean really good, then in 10 years you’ll have 10 really amazing pictures.

3 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2006 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Brian! We have met! Howard showed me this work at that time and I was blown away by this guy! I am sorry I didn’t buy one. Wm.

  2. Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photo.

  3. Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    William, Yes Saul at one point promised a print and sadly never followe up and I was too shy to ask again about it. Not if but when I have some cash, I’ll be spying out some of Saul lammda prints. 😉

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