Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saul Leiter and Wim Wenders at the Deichtorhallen

The Deichtorhallen Hamburg had a retrospective of Saul Leiters work, including his photographs, paintings, collage and fashion photography.


I didn't find his paintings very interesting, but his paintings on photographs were really something special. His color palette was quite unexpected and sometimes you couldn't see any traces of the photograph so that if you weren't aware, it wouldn't be apparent that there is a photo underneath. His use of mirrors, windows and light distortion was constant through his art and fashion photography. Many of the techniques he used are commonplace today and thus don't sound very original, but he was one of their pioneers and he did it with such grace.

Wim Wenders had a photography show at the Deichtorhallen as well, at the Sammlung Falckenberg collection in Harburg. To my dissapointment, and for most of those who went that I spoke with, his photographic works were underwhelming. As my friend Lumen pointed out, you could stop his films at any given moment and find a much more interesting image than the ones presented in this show. I think part of the problem was the scale. The photographs were printed very large, which seemed to accentuate their banality. They were more impressive in the catalog than on the wall. In his statement, Wenders explains that he makes these images when he's getting lost while wandering and stumbling upon strange and quiet places. It surprises me that he has this strong feeling for the moments he captures, and he is such a talented filmmaker, but that feeling doesn't emanate from the photographs like they do in the films.

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