Benjamin Levy: “Technically Conceptual/Conceptually Technical: Stanley William Hayter and the Atelier 17”
Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Programs, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Calder, Miró, Kandinsky, Masson, Picasso, Nevelson, Bourgeois, Pollock. These are just a few of the names of the myriad artists associated with the Atelier 17, the collaborative print workshop founded by Stanley William Hayter in 1927 in Paris. Hayter would come to have an enormous effect on modern printmaking through not only his own work, but also through the workshop. The story of the Atelier 17 bridges the gap between pre- and post-WWII art, encompassing Surrealism and Modernism through Abstract Expressionism and beyond. The Atelier moved with the art world to New York from Paris, bringing with it an international and intergenerational group of artists. This melting pot of creative minds innovated and experimented both conceptually and technically with a profound emphasis on collaboration. Hayter was the nucleus around which artists investigated ideas, pedagogy, and technical innovations, and whose legacy paved the way for the post-war print boom.
Benjamin Levy is a curator, print scholar, and printmaker. He is currently the Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Programs at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. Previously he was in the Prints, Drawings & Photographs Department at the Baltimore Museum of Art. While in Baltimore he co-directed the Baltimore Fair for Contemporary Prints and was a contributor to BmoreArt Magazine. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Printmaking and Book Arts, he trained as a collaborative master printer. He is a contributor for Art in Print, sits on the board of the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, and is currently involved with a catalog and traveling exhibition of the work of Stanley William Hayter and his workshop, the Atelier 17.