Alice Trumbull Mason

Graphic Works from Atelier 17
March 14 - April 20, 2019
"When Atelier 17 was established in New York in 1940, it provided the catalyst for many artists to experiment more freely and imaginatively with materials. Hayter actively encouraged the participation of painters and sculptors in the workshop, because he was aware that some of the finest prints had historically been made by painters. He was not interested in printmakers as such, but in artists who would employ and develop the print media as another means of creative expression…

…Hayter was sufficiently proud of the work being done at Atelier 17 to invite as observers, old friends and new acquaintances. These included writers, intellectuals, art historians, collectors, dealers, and businessmen as well as other artists. His enthusiasm was contagious, and those who visited the workshop spread the word of its accomplishments. In 1941 Anaïs Nin recorded her impression of Atelier 17 and Hayter:

"The place was enticing to me, with piles of paper, inks, the presses, the vats with acid, the copper being worked upon. The miraculous lines appearing from the presses, the colored inks, the sharpened burins. The group working with him absorbed, intent, bent over under strong naked bulbs. He always moved about between the students, cyclonic, making Joycean puns, a caricature, a joke. He was always in motion. I wondered how he had ever spent hours bent over copper plates delicate, demanding, exacting work. His lines were like projectiles thrown through space, sometimes tangled like antennae caught in a windstorm. I never saw him at low ebb or passive, and even paint, which he was known to have, seemed to inspire only a more desperate aliveness, alertness. A volcanic personality."

Joann Moser
"Atelier 17: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition," 1977
Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, pp. 6-7, p. 43
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