Stanley William Hayter

(London, 1901 – Paris, 1988)


Stanley William Hayter, English printmaker and painter who founded Atelier 17, the most influential print workshop of the 20th century.

Hayter was trained in geology at King’s College, London University, and initially regarded art as an avocation. While he was working in the Middle East as a research chemist from 1922 to 1925, he painted in his spare time. In Paris in 1926 he met the painter and printmaker Jacques Villon, who introduced him to engraving, and was associated briefly with the Académie Julian before opening his own atelier the following year. Hayter was introduced to copper engraving, and went on to acquire his own printing press and opened a printmaking studio, Atelier 17, in 1927.

Hayter’s charismatic personality and drive to develop printmaking, attracted students, collaborators and independent artist alike. Atelier 17 became a hub for mentorship where young artists could work alongside experienced printmakers such as Pablo Picasso, Jankel Adler and Massimo Campigli. In the early 1930s Hayter collaborated on editions with some of the world’s most famed artist including Joan Miró and Kandisnky.

Hayter relocated the studio to New York City for a time in the 1940s, but in 1950 he reestablished Atelier 17 in Paris. Many American artists, including Jackson Pollock, were also influenced by Hayter, particularly by his emphasis on automatism and reliance on the unconscious. He taught printmaking techniques at several U.S. colleges as well as at Atelier 17 itself.

In 1950 Hayter once again returned to Paris, taking Atelier 17 back to its European origin. He was a prolific artist and continued to work until his death in 1988, producing around 460 prints

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