Thursday, May 13, 2010

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Saul Leiter, Shopper, 1953

I recently bought a second hand Steidl monograph, Saul Leiter: Early Color, in Las Vegas. Leiter's commercial photographs, shot for Vogue, etc., aren't too interesting, but much of his color work from the early 1950s looks totally up-to-date, with its off-kilter framing and proto-cellphone-photograph smears, blurs, and tessellations. Echoes of Leiter's highly activated surfaces can be found in the granular, "swarming" quality of Stephen Waddell's overenlarged 35mm negatives, and in recent cellphone pictures like Jeff Wall's Passenger (2009).

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