Stanley William Hayter
and my work at the Atelier 17
"He was the only person to respond to my enquiries regarding learning etching, that too in a very kind way and by his own hand. I was both proud of that opportunity and frightened of it too because his workmates had been Calder (prior to his mobiles), Max Ernst, Mirò, Picasso, Tanguy and André Masson among others.
The name 'Atelier 17' came from the first workshop he had opened at 17 Rue Campagne Première at Montparnasse in Paris in 1933.
After three months compulsory trial period, during which he would pass on to us the maximum of his knowledge of burin, aquatint, dry point and etching, he taught us about the power and reaction of warm colours over cold colours as well as the result of their interaction. He then let us experiment on our own. I clearly preferred etching on copper or zinc and tried to use only the three primary colours and black in my prints.
Hayter reinvented simultaneous colour inking which consists in printing engravings of multiple colours in one go, in contradistinction to the more ancient procedure of one print per colour, which also implies meticulously marking each partial image with needles.
I was moved by the work of Hundertwasser, himself influenced by Egon Schiele, both of them Austrians. The teaching and the advices of Bill (Hayter) have left an enduring imprint on my work ever since."
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