Fed by thrilling recent discoveries from Saul Leiter’s vast archive, "In My Room" provides an in-depth study of the nude, through intimate photographs of the women Leiter knew. Showing deeply personal interior spaces, often illuminated by the lush natural light of the artist’s studio in New York City’s East Village, these black-and-white images reveal the unique collaboration between Leiter and his subjects.
In the 1970s, Leiter planned to make a book of his nudes, but never realized the project in his lifetime. Now we are granted a first-time look at this body of work, which Leiter began on his arrival in New York in 1946 and chipped away at over the next two decades. Leiter, who was also a painter, incorporates abstract elements into these photographs and often shows the influence of his favorite artists, including Bonnard, Vuillard and Matisse.
The prolific Leiter, who painted and took pictures fervently up to his death, worked in relative obscurity well into his eighties. Leiter preferred solitude in life, and resisted any type of explanation or analysis of his work. With "In My Room", Leiter ushers viewers into his private world while retaining his strong sense of mystery.
Saul Leiter was born in Pittsburgh in 1923. In 1946 he moved to New York to become a painter, but was encouraged to pursue photography by the photographic experimentation and influence of his friend, the abstract expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart. Leiter subsequently enjoyed a successful career as a fashion photographer spanning three decades, and his images were published in magazines such as Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and British Vogue. His work is held in many prestigious private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Steidl has published Leiter’s Early Color and Early Black and White. Leiter died in November 2013.