Saul Leiter – Retrospective – Antwerp Fomu 28.10.16 – 29.01.17

exhibition, Uncategorized

one thing to start with, I’m very sorry this exhibit is over. I have really enjoyed it (again on one of the very last days of the exhibit – I tend to postpone exhibition visits till the moment I can’t  any further delay it or I’ll mis it) so there’s no way you can see it here in Belgium anymore, sorry for that.

I have enjoyed the exhibit very much. It gave an overview of Saul Leiters’ work both commercial and non commercial, presented in the humble way that Leiter proves to be in the documentary movie (In no great hurry – 2012) that was made of him shortly before he died in 2013. Small paintings, small prints, and a vast number of images. I kind of missed a clear structure in the exhibit, but that might be purposely related to his way of working, and his total disorder in his huge archive.

Over a period of about 60 years he documented street life in the south-east part of New York, in a very particular way. He had moved into New York mainly to start as a painter, and this approach is clearly visible in his work. Deconstructed impressionist frames form the setting of a lot of his photographs, in which often a single person is the only immediately recognizable feature of the image. Often there is no figurative element at all, and all is fuzzy or blurred and an impressionist vision on the city life is all that’s left. Remarkably colorful, even in winter settings, he manages to make his images a delight to look at. Often the content of his images is captured between several layers of reflections, mirrored images, damp-dripping glass surfaces where you have to work your way around as a viewer.

Saul has become famous only after a very long period of working, and it seems he never fully realized the quality and the impact of his work. In this perspective I would gladly recommend viewing the full documentary ‘In no great hurry – 13 lessons in life with Saul Leiter’ as it offers an in depth encounter and it is a testimony to humility and unpretentiousness I have seldom seen in an artist of this scale. Inspirational at least.

You can see an extensive selection of his work here:

Howard Greenberg Gallery

another source of info:

https://www.artsy.net/artist/saul-leiter

thanks for reading,

ludwig

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