Saul Leiter, Painterly Color

June 5 - July 24, 2010

Photography dealer Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly announce the opening of a one man show of photographs, paintings, and painted photographs entitled, “Saul Leiter, Painterly Color.” The exhibition opens June 5 with an artist’s reception from 4-7pm and continues through July 24, 2010.

Saul Leiter came to New York from Pittsburgh in 1946 to study painting with the Abstract Expressionist, Richard Pousette Dart but quickly became interested in photography. Mr. Leiter pursued a career in the 1950’s and 1960’s shooting fashion for such magazines as Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, French Vogue and American Vogue. While working as a commercial and editorial photographer during this time, Mr. Leiter was creating a substantial personal body of work concentrated on his love of street photography. Using a lush palette of color and layering of elements this work transformed elements of everyday street scenes (people, cars, shop windows, umbrellas) into rich compositions that became virtually abstract. His early interest in color photography was recognized by his peer artists and photographers but broader awareness of this work eluded him. Of this obscurity, Leiter has said, “ I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way.

Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learnt to see what others do not see.” Included in the exhibition at KMR Arts will be a selection of Mr. Leiter’s small scale abstract paintings: intimate, meditative studies on form and color, with a poetic sensibility.

As Roberta Smith wrote in the New York Times: "Mr. Leiter is a photographer less of people than of perception itself. His painter’s instincts serve him well in his emphasis on surface, spatial ambiguity and a lush, carefully calibrated palette. His poetic, layered images depict a complex interaction of people, architecture and weather that is full of fragmented, partial, veiled or multiplied forms and figures. Leiter captures the passing illusions of everyday life with a precision that might almost seem scientific, if it weren’t so poetically resonant and visually layered."