Stanley William Hayter

Stanley William Hayter

Viscosity Printing

Stanley William Hayter is considered one of the most significant printmakers of the 20th century, with associations to the period’s key artistic movements, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

LOT 215 | STANLEY WILLIAM HAYTER C.B.E. (BRITISH 1901-1988) | WARRIORS - 1953 | £700 - £900 + fees


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Although born into an artistic family, Hayter originally studied chemistry and geology in London, before being posted to Iran while employed by an oil company. While stationed there he contracted malaria and fell seriously ill. He was sent home to recuperate and during this time the company arranged to hold a small exhibition of his work at their London headquarters, showcasing pieces he had made while abroad. The exhibition was a big success, with the majority of works sold, and it is thought it was this that encouraged him to pursue a career as an artist more seriously. The next year, he moved to Paris to undertake further artistic study at Académie Julian and started working in printmaking. In 1927 he opened a printmaking studio, that became known as Atelier 17, with the aim of creating an environment to celebrate, promote and evolve printmaking through collaboration and experimentation rather than strict techniques and hierarchies. It was a great success, ultimately attracting key artistic figures of the time including Picasso, Giacometti, Miro and Chagall.


LOT 214 | STANLEY WILLIAM HAYTER C.B.E. (BRITISH 1901-1988) | PEGASE - 1951 | £600 - £800 + fees


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Meanwhile, Hayter continued to evolve and innovate his own techniques, particularly ‘simultaneous colour printing’ or ‘viscosity printing,’ the layering of varying viscosities of oil-based inks, using rags, stencils and rollers, onto a single plate. This allowed Hayter to print multiple layers of colour and texture in a single pulling. He was able to be gestural and fluid, and to work with improvisation rather than undertaking a more traditionally rigorous approach.


LOT 213 | STANLEY WILLIAM  HAYTER  C.B.E. (BRITISH 1901-1988) | CHILDREN OF NIOBE - 1954 | £400 - £600 + fees
LOT 213 | STANLEY WILLIAM HAYTER C.B.E. (BRITISH 1901-1988) | CHILDREN OF NIOBE - 1954 | £400 - £600 + fees


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When war spread across Europe, Hayter moved the successful studio out of Paris to New York. His reputation preceded him and he attracted significant American artists such as Calder, Pollock and Rothko to collaborate. His fluid and spontaneous approach gained a lot of traction and began to spread through artistic teaching in America. Constantly innovating through all different periods of his life, Hayter collaborated with artists to make prints that were sold to raise funds for the republican cause in the Spanish Civil War and then as part of the Second World War effort, he collaborated with British artist and historian Roland Penrose to set up a commercial camouflage business, the Industrial Camouflage Research Unit.


LOT 212 | STANLEY WILLIAM HAYTER C.B.E. (BRITISH 1901-1988) | LE COUPLE - 1952 | £600 - £800 + fees


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Voraciously prolific, it is thought that Hayter made around 460 prints in his lifetime, working in Paris from 1950 up until his death in 1988. He was widely honoured in his lifetime, being awarded a CBE in the U.K. and the Légion d'honneur in France and since his death the atelier has continued, now under the name Atelier Contrepoint. We are delighted to be offering a small selection of Hayter’s work in print from the early 1950s, a period of lyrical action in his work, which showcase the vibrancy and versatility of the medium in his creative hands.



Auction Information


Contemporary & Post-War Art - Lot: 1 to 197 - Wednesday 10 August at 10am

Prints & Multiples - Lot: 198 to 323 - Wednesday 10 August at 15pm

Live Online | Edinburgh


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Prints & Multiples


Lyon & Turnbull are delighted to offer Modern and Contemporary editioned prints and multiples within our Contemporary & Post-War Art // Prints & Multiples and MODERN MADE auctions.

An exciting and developing area of the market, Prints & Multiples are popular with new and seasoned collectors alike.

At Lyon & Turnbull, we handle prints from a wide variety of artists: from 20th century masters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro through to the British canon of printmakers including Dame Laura Knight, L.S. Lowry, Edward Bawden, all the way to David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Our auctions encompass printmaking created up to and including the present day, with artists currently working in these mediums, such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Banksy and the Connor Brothers.


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Contemporary & Post-War Art


Characterised by competitive bidding, strong results and a high selling rate, our Contemporary & Post-War Art sales are among our most popular auctions. Held three times a year in our Scottish saleroom, highlights are also regularly exhibited in our London gallery. Our strong private client base and excellent international marketing reach has seen these sales grow into flagships of our company.

Encompassing works by both emerging and internationally regarded contemporary artists and sculptors, we have achieved top prices for household names including John Hoyland (a world record), Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi (a world record for a sculpture), Terry Frost, Nicholas Party, Alison Watt and Callum Innes. Regularly featured local favourites include John Bellany and the ‘New Glasgow Boys’ Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Steven Campbell, as well as John Byrne and Alasdair Gray.


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