Stanley William Hayter


Stanley William Hayter (27 December 1901 – 4 May 1988) was an English painter and master printmaker associated in the 1930s with surrealism and from 1940 onward with abstract expressionism. Regarded as one of the most significant printmakers of the 20th century, in 1927 Hayter founded the influential Atelier 17 studio in Paris. Since his death in 1988, it has been known as Atelier Contrepoint. Among the artists who frequented the atelier were Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Nemesio Antúnez, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Wassily Kandinsky, Mauricio Lasansky, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Flora Blanc, Carl Heywood, and Catherine Yarrow.

He is noted for his innovative work in the development of viscosity printing (a process that exploits varying viscosities of oil-based inks to lay three or more colours on a single intaglio plate).

Hayter was equally active as a painter, "Hayter, working always with maximum flexibility in painting, drawing, engraving, collage and low relief has invented some of the most central and significant images of this century before most of the other artists of his generation", wrote Bryan Robertson.

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British artist is associated with Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. He is regarded as one of the most innovative printmakers of the 20th century, particularly in regard to his development of intaglio and color printmaking techniques, on which he published guides. Born to a family of artists, he studied chemistry and geology and worked in the Middle East from 1922-1925 for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, but decided to abandon this career for art. He settled in Paris in 1926 and in 1927 he founded a print shop in Paris with Joseph Hecht. The shop became known as Atelier 17, (called Atelier Contrepoint after Hayter's death in 1988). He worked there with many artists of the time, including Miró, Arp, Tanguy, Giacometti, Matta, Brauner, Kandinsky, Alechinsky, and André Masson, with whom he explored automatic drawing. Between 1933 and 1950, Hayter relocated to New York where he was in contact with other European and American painters, including Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell, and Gorky.

Country of birth

United Kingdom


Artist, illustrator, painter, writer

ULAN identifier



Stanley William Hayter, S. W. Hayter

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 16, 2024.