Stanley William Hayter
Stanley William Hayter (1901,
London-1988, Paris) was
surrealist painter and
printmaker. He was descended from a line of artists; his
great-great-grandfather, John, was brother to the painter
Sir George Hayter. He is noted for his innovative work in the
viscosity printing (a process that exploits varying viscosities of
oil-based inks to lay three or more colours on a single
intaglio plate). His
obituary described him as having "revolutionized the art of engraving, with
his far-reaching experiments in colour and texture".
He graduated in chemistry and geology from
King's College, London, and worked in Abadan for
Anglo-Persian Oil Company from 1922 to 1925. On his being invalided home
to London after a malaria
attack, his company arranged a one-man show of his works from his period
In 1926 he went to Paris,
studying at the
Académie Julian and learning
line engraving techniques, especially copper engraving using the
Joseph Hecht. In 1927 he founded a studio, which in 1933 moved to No 17,
Rue Campagne-Premiere, where it became internationally known as Atelier 17.
Its printmaking techniques influenced such artists as
Picasso, Miró, Arp,
Peterdi. Atelier 17 moved to New York on the outbreak of
World War II.
During World War II, Hayter collaborated with
Roland Penrose, Trevelyan and others in setting up a
camouflage unit, later acting as advisor to the Museum of Modern Art for
a show, Britain at War. For this, he devised an
analog computer to duplicate the angle of the sun and shadow lengths for
any time, day and latitude.
Atalier 17 returned to Paris in 1950. On Hayter's
death in 1988 it was renamed Atelier Contrepoint.
Hayter continued to develop painting alongside
printmaking. His interest in
automatism led him to associate with the Surrealists, and in the USA he
was an innovator in the
Abstract Expressionism movement.