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