“I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera.”


"I believe there is such a thing as a search for beauty."

Saul Leiter could have been lauded as the great the pioneer of colour photography, but was never driven by the lure of success. Instead he preferred to drink coffee and photograph in his own way, amassing an archive of beautiful work that is now piled high in his New York apartment.

An intimate and personal film, 'In No Great Hurry' (by Thomas Leach) follows Saul as he deals with the triple burden of clearing an apartment full of memories, becoming world famous in his 80’s and fending off a pesky filmmaker.

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“i have a deep-seated distrust and even contempt for people who are driven by ambition to conquer the world… those who cannot control themselves and produce vast amounts of crap that no one cares about. i find it unattractive. i like the zen artists: they’d do some work, and then they’d stop for a while.”

at KUNST HAUS WIEN, Vienna, Austria

The Kunst Haus Wien is devoting a major retrospective to the oeuvre of the 89-year-old photographer and painter Saul Leiter.

The exhibition, which was developed in cooperation with Haus der Photographie / Deichtorhallen Hamburg, presents the wide range of this versatile artist’s works, including early black-and-white and colour photographs, fashion images, painted photographs of nudes, paintings and a number of his sketchbooks. One section of the exhibition is devoted to Saul Leiter’s most recent photographs, which he continues to take on the streets of New York’s East Village. (read more)

Exhibition dates:
Jan. 31 - May 26, 2013

On April 24 there will be a screening of the film “In No Great Hurry – 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter" by Tomas Leach at the Jewish Museum Vienna (6:30 p.m. / free entry).

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© Saul Leiter, Exhibition at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg / Germany

#1: Untitled (Self-portrait), 1950s
#2: Postmen, 1952
#3: Man with Straw Hat, ca. 1955
#4: Phone Call, ca. 1957

House of Photography at Deichtorhallen will from February 3 to April 15, 2012 be highlighting the oeuvre of 88-year-old photographer and painter Saul Leiter in the world’s first major retrospective. The exhibition covers more than 400 works and brings together in marvelous combination his early black-and-white and colour photographs, fashion images, painted-over nude photographs, paintings and his sketchbooks, which have never gone on public view before. The final chapter in the exhibition is dedicated to Saul Leiter’s most recent photographic works, which he continues to take on the streets in his neighborhood in New York’s East Village.

  (read more here and here)

Current exhibition:
'Saul Leiter Retrospektive' at Deichtorhallen / Haus der Photographie in Hamburg, Germany / Exhibition dates: Feb. 3 − Apr. 15, 2012

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© Saul Leiter, 1954, Foot on El, New York

This photograph is part of the exhibition Saul Leiter - New York Reflections at the Jewish Historical Museum Nieuwe Amstelstraat, Amsterdam.

Exhibition dates: Oct. 24, 2011 - Mar. 4, 2012

“I must admit that I am not a member of the ugly school. I have a great regard for certain notions of beauty even though to some it is an old fashioned idea. Some photographers think that by taking pictures of human misery, they are addressing a serious problem. I do not think that misery is more profound than happiness.”
(Saul Leiter)

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© Saul Leiter, 1957, Taxi

Leiter had developed an early interest in painting and was fortunate to meet the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart. Pousette-Dart and W. Eugene Smith encouraged Saul to pursue photography and he was soon experimenting with a 35 mm Leica. He began associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Diane Arbus and helped form what Jane Livingston has termed ‘The New York School’ of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s.

"Once, I took a taxi. I hate those limousines. They stink and their drivers have been driving dead people to the cemeteries." (Klaus Kinski)