Stanley William Hayter (1901 − 1989)

Stanley Hayter was born in London; he studied chemistry and geology at King's College, London University. For a time he worked for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan, before moving to Paris in 1926 to study at the Académie Julien alongside Balthaus, Calder and Anthony Gross. The following year he was introduced to engraving by the Polish artist, Joseph Hecht. Shortly afterwards he established Atelier 17, that became legendary for its innovative approach to printmaking and the collaborative spirit it fostered. It attracted a range of diverse artists, including Max Ernst, André Masson, Yves Tanguy and Joan Miró. Hayter was regarded as one of the most original and influential printmakers of the 20th century, particularly in the field of etching and engraving. He was associated with the Surrealists in the 1930s and the Abstract Expressionists after his move to New York in 1940. It was during the decade based in New York that he produced some of his greatest prints having perfected a technique for simultaneous multicolour printing of intaglio and surface inkings from one plate. This revolutionary approach, combined with the counterpoint of line and space, later gave way to more decorative and rhythmic works.

Out of Print: British Printmaking 1946 - 1976, The British Council 1994

Further reading:
The Renaissance of the Gravure: The Art of S W Hayter, edited by P M S Hacker, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1988
Hayter e l'Atelier 17, essays by Carla Esposito, Milton Gendel, Bryan Robertson and P M S Hacker, Electa, Milan 1990
The Prints of S W Hayter: A Complete catalogue, Peter Black and Desirée Hayter, Phaidon Press, London 1992

Glossary (4)

  • Engraving

    An intaglio process whereby lines are cut into a metal or wood plate using an engraving tool (a burin), which is pushed in front of the hand to achieve a sharp controlled incision capable of great delicacy. This technique requires a great deal of control and is not suited to spontaneous mark-making.

  • Etching

    An intaglio process whereby a metal plate (normally copper, zinc or steel) is covered with an acid-resistant layer of rosin mixed with wax. With a sharp point, the artist draws through this ground to reveal the plate beneath. The plate is then placed in an acid bath (a water and acid solution) and the acid bites into the metal plate where the drawn lines have exposed it. The waxy ground is cleaned off and the plate is covered in ink and then wiped clean, so that ink is retained only in the etched lines. The plate can then be printed through an etching press. The strength of the etched lines depends on the length of time the plate is left in the acid bath.

  • Intaglio

    Is the generic term used to describe printing from a surface (most commonly a copper, zinc or steel plate) which holds ink in the grooves, textures or pitted areas which have been cut, scratched or etched. In order to obtain a print, ink is pushed into the incisions on the plate and the non-printed area wiped clean before being laid over with a piece of dampened paper and rolled through an etching press. (See also Etching; Drypoint; Engraving; Aquatint; Mezzotint)

  • Oil

    A medium in which ground pigments are mixed to produce a paste or liquid that can be applied to a surface by a brush or other tool; the most common oil used by artists is linseed, this can be thinned with turpentine spirit to produce a thinner and more fluid paint. The oil dries with a hard film, and the brightness of the colour is protected. Oil paints are usually opaque and traditionally used on canvas.

Past exhibitions


  • 2001
    • Turkey, Ankara, Ankara Art Fair


  • 2001
    • Germany, Hildesheim, Roemer- Und Pelizaeue Museum
  • 1999
    • Poland, Bytom, Museum Gornoslaskie
    • Poland, Lodz, Museum Sztuki
    • Poland, Warsaw, National Museum
    • USA, Mary Washington College Galleries
  • 1998
    • USA, Springfield Museum Of Art
    • USA, New Jersey, Stedman Art Gallery, Rutgers State Univeristy Of New Jersey
  • 1997
    • USA, Provo, Museum Of Art Brigham Young University
  • 1996
    • Spain, La Coruna, Fondacion Barrie De La Maza
    • Spain, Seville, Museo De Bellas Artes
    • Spain, Bilbao, Museo De Bellas Artes De Bilbao
  • 1995
    • Cyprus, Nicosia, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre
    • Egypt, Cairo, British Council Office - Cairo
    • Egypt, Alexandria, British Council Office - Alexandria
    • Italy, Naples, Naples
    • Italy, Cagliari, Assozione Culturale Italia Inghliterra
  • 1994
    • Belgium, Antwerp, Luchtbal Art Centre
    • France, Gravelines, Musee Du Dessin Et D'estample Originale


  • 1990
    • Italy, Rome, Istituzione Nazionale Per La Grafica


  • 1974
    • Jordan, Amman, Centre Culturel Francais


  • 1959
    • Netherlands, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen
    • Switzerland, Zurich, Kunsthaus
    • Belgium, Brussels, Palais Des Beaux-Arts De Bruxelles
    • Germany, Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum
  • 1958
    • France, Paris, Musee D'art Moderne De La Ville De Paris
    • Italy, Venice, British Pavilion


  • 1960
    • Norway, Norway Tour
  • 1957
    • France, Tour

BRITISH ART 1900-1955

  • 1956
    • Norway, Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus
    • Denmark, Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen


  • 1948
    • UK, Oxford, Black Hall
    • UK, Liverpool, British Council Office - Liverpool
    • Scotland, Edinburgh, International House
    • UK, London, The Alpine Club
    • Netherlands, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen
    • Netherlands, Leiden, Leiden Print Cabinet
    • Austria, Vienna, Albertina
  • 1947
    • Poland, Warsaw, National Museum
    • Hungary, Budapest, Town Hall


  • 1950
    • Fiji, Suva, Fiji Arts Club
  • 1949
    • New Zealand, Hamilton, Waikato Museum Of Art & History
    • New Zealand, Rotorua, Society Of Arts
  • 1948
    • New Zealand, Auckland, Aukland City Art Gallery
    • New Zealand, Wellington, National Art Gallery
    • New Zealand, Napier, Napier
    • New Zealand, Wanganni
    • Australia, Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery
    • Australia, Art Gallery Of New South Wales
  • 1947
    • Australia, Hobart, Hobart
    • Australia, Melbourne, Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building
    • Australia, Adelaide, Art Gallery Of South Australia
    • Australia, Perth, Art Gallery Of Western Australia
    • UK, London, Victoria And Albert Museum
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