am 5. November 2011
I was surprised at how small this book was when it arrived (of course, had I checked the Product Details I would have seen that it's about eight inches square) but now having looked through the pages several times I can see why Steidl published it this size. Photographers like Crewdson, Gursky or Shore require a large page because their work is saturated with detail. Here, these wonderful photos are a sliver of city life and presenting them about postcard size is perfect.
Leiter gives us an intimate look at the everyday in what seems to me an almost unique vision. Fred Herzog's colour work during the fifties and early sixties in Vancouver does seem slightly similar especially the vibrant reds that appear in both their work. Leiter's photos though, capture the small fragments of colour and shape on the street which he cleverly takes further by using reflection, shadow and soft focus to make an image that could be considered a sort of photo/painting.
I liked the way he uses commercial street signage (as does Herzog) to provide small areas of bright colour amongst the dark hues and shadows so prevalent in any city. I doubt any of the photos were taken in bright sunlight and even a few that include snow still have a dark hue to them.
The book has a hundred photos printed with a 175 screen on a matt art, one to page, except for two spreads and opposite each photo there is the briefest of caption: location and date. The first edition came out in 2006, second in 2007 and this one to coincide with an Amsterdam exhibition of Leiter's photos. The publication of this edition should bring the high prices of earlier copies down to a more realistic level. All three editions seem identical except for some type changes on the imprint page.
This is one of those books whose size works in harmony with the contents and really helps to bring Leiter's intimate city photos to life.
am 10. März 2013
Saul Leiter ist einer der bedeutendsten Fotografen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Seine New Yorker Straßenszenen, oft auf minimale Bildausschnitte und wenige Farben reduziert, oft absichtlich verschwommen und in Regen oder Schneetreiben aufgenommen, sind eine nicht alltägliche Schule des Sehens und in ihrer abstrahierenden Komposition ein ästhetischer Hochgenuss. Schon lange nicht mehr hat mich ein Fotoband derart bewegt und begeistert.