Back to News

Atelier 17: Gravura Moderna nas Américas / Atelier 17: Modern Printmaking in the Americas

This exhibition, a collaboration between the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC-USP), and the Terra Foundation for American Art, explores the influence of artist and printmaker Stanley William Hayter (1901–1988) on the evolution of printmaking in the United States and Brazil during the first half of the 20th century. Assembled around a never-before exhibited group of prints gifted in 1951 to MAC-USP by American philanthropist Nelson Rockefeller (1908–1979) and another smaller group gifted by Lessing Roswenwald, the exhibition highlights the impact that Hayter, well known as an experimental printmaker and teacher, had on a vast group of established and emerging artists. Centered on key prints by Hayter, the exhibition also includes an array of works by artists who printed alongside him in his workshop, Atelier 17, as well as a selection of prints that help to contextualize the practice of printmaking in the United States from 1900 through 1950.

Born in 1901 in London, England, Stanley William Hayter moved to Paris in 1926 and began his studies at the Académie Julian, but left the school soon after and discovered copper engraving, a medium he quickly became invested in for its expressiveness. The smooth, metallic surface of copper allowed lines to be drawn directly onto the copper plate with a freedom that aligned with Hayter’s artistic interest in automatic drawing and amorphous, organic shapes, or biomorphism.

In 1927 Hayter established the print studio Atelier 17 in Paris, which he relocated to New York City in 1940. The studio became renowned in both cities for Hayter’s generosity, energy, creative expression, and embrace of established and emerging artists. His practice impacted artists as varied as Americans Sue Fuller, Jackson Pollock, and Louise Nevelson, and Brazilians Geraldo de Barros, Fayga Ostrower, and Livio Abramo.

Leave a Reply