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SAUL LEITER: A PORTFOLIO

Saul Leiter, String,ca. 1955, gelatin silver print, 9 3.4 x 9 3/4".

So the days pass and I ask myself sometimes whether one is not hypnotized, as a child by a silver globe, by life; and whether this is living. It’s very quick, bright, exciting. But superficial perhaps. I should like to take the globe in my hands and feel it quietly, round, smooth, heavy, and so hold it, day after day. I will read Proust I think. I will go backwards and forwards.

—Virginia Woolf, November 28, 1928

IN 2006, AFTER A TEN-YEAR SEARCH for a publisher, New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery persuaded Steidl to issue Saul Leiter’s first book, Early Color. This monograph, which has just reappeared in a fourth edition, contains roughly eighty photographs taken as color slides predominantly in the 1940s and ’50s (with several dating from 1960). Retrieved by Leiter only decades later, and nearly all printed for the first time, the pictures emerged as a revelatory pageant.

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