Mix up Miles Davis, some French post-impressionism, Max Ernst, haiku by Matsuo Basho, experimental scores of Morton Feldman, Cubism, Utamaro shunga (erotic art) and Hokusai ukiyo-e, plus some Norman Rockwell, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. Steep for 60-odd years. Saul Leiter’s work is all that, but also unique in its vision.

Saul Leiter is not the biggest name in photography, but maybe that’s the way he wanted it. “I was not out to conquer the universe … my aim in life was to pay my bills and to pay my life bill,” he said in a 2013 interview a few months before he died. More interested in making work than networking, Leiter was relatively indifferent to the idea of achieving fame as an artist or being called a “pioneer”of color photography at a time when fine art photography had to be monochrome to be taken seriously.

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