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Archive for the ‘Atelier 17’ Category

An early monotype by Pierre Alechinsky

October 26th, 2017

After Atelier 17 became re-established in Paris in 1950, younger artists made their way to work there.  Among them was Belgian artist, Pierre Alechinsky (born 1927) who began living and working in Paris in 1951.  That same year Alechinsky organized the final CoBraA exhibition in Liegée Belgium.

The personal quality of hand-writing greatly appealed to CoBrA artists. ‘The important thing,’ Alechinsky wrote, ‘is to discover an inner script … with which we can explore ourselves organically.’ Alechinsky said that he painted as if he was a spinning-top, unable to control his own movements. This is evident in The Night (Le Nuit) in which twists and twirls of white on a black ground evoke luminous night forms. *Tate Gallery label, July 2008

Alechinsky’s approach would seem to grow out of Hayter’s interest in automatic drawing or engraving as a kind of automatism.   We have on offer a color trial proof, Le Nuit which was printed from a plate made at Atelier 17 in Paris in 1952 and annotated, monotype.  It was later published in 1968 as part of Alechinsky’s folio, Hayterophilies.  Our impression expresses a tenderness with soft-toned blue and yellow set against the activity and energy of the gestures

Pierre Alechinsky Le Nuit 1952 aquatint with color relief roll

Pierre Alechinsky Le Nuit 1952

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Stanley William Hayter’s plaster prints from Atelier 17

October 25th, 2017

Hayter’s fascination with the relief character of the printed burin line led him and other members of Atelier 17 to explore printing techniques that emphasized the sculptural nature of the engraved plate.  As early as 1931, experiments were made at Atelier 17 with “plaster prints,” or actual plaster casts of engraved copper plates.  Hayter learned about this technique of making a print in plaster of Paris from a Treatise on Etching by Maxine Francçois Antoine Lalanne
This technique had the advantage of demonstrating the relief of the lines more clearly than the lines of an inked print on paper.  The print (on paper) reveals more of the subtleties of engraving such as fine lines and tonal relationships, but the plaster cast emphasized the depth of the engraved lines.  * Thanks to Joanne Moser, Atelier 17 A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1977

We are proud to offer Hayter’s Myth of Creation 1940 (BM134), along with a state-proof impression from the same plate.  Plaster prints are hybrid works that both print making and sculpture.  Other examples can be found in major museum collections and it is a rare opportunity when a superb example like Myth of Creation comes becomes available for sale.

Stanley William Hayter Myth of Creation 1941

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941, carved plaster print

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941 State I 1940 engraving, proof, 1st state

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941 State I 1940 engraving, proof, 1st state

Rare early engravings by Louise Bourgeois

October 25th, 2017

We are proud to offer some early engravings by Louise Bourgeois (French-American, 1911-2010).

In 1946 Bourgeois finally found her way to Atelier 17, the intaglio workshop that Stanley William Hayter had moved from Paris to New York in 1940. The expertise of Hayter and the array of international artists who worked there made the Atelier a center of printmaking activity in the city. When asked about the Atelier Bourgeois noted the social setting, she stated, “There were a lot of interesting people there…” The Chilean artist Nemecio Antunez, who spoke French became a good friend, and she developed a close relationship with Joan Miró when he was at the workshop in 1947. Bourgeois undertook there her most important print project of the forties: the book/portfolio He Disappeared into Complete Silence.  *Thanks to Deborah Wye, from The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.

From this period with 1949 we have Hanging Weeds Wye #56. Ours is a strong, elegant proof after the third state. We also have a proof impression of Plate 3 from the folio, He Disappeared into Complete Silence 1947.  These rare works came to us from Hayter’s own print collection, as did Nemecio Antunez’s City Dwellers 1950.  Mr Antunez (Chilean, 1918–1993) later became a major figure in Chilean art.

Louise Bourgeois Hanging Weeds 1949 engraving, state proof

Louise Bourgeois Hanging Weeds 1949

Nemecio Antunez City Dwellers 1950 etching with surface roll applied color

Nemecio Antunez City Dwellers 1950

A pair of rare works by Spanish Master Joan Miró

October 23rd, 2017

We are delighted to share a pair of proof impressions of Serie I from plates made by Joan Miró at Atelier 17 in New York in 1947.  Miró had come to the United States for work on a commission for the Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio.   He had been working at Atelier 17 on and off since the early 1939s and visited Stanley William Hayter in New York in June, 1947.

“One of the artists who exploited the effects of open bite etching most successfully was Joan Miró. Previously Miró had limited his prints to fairly conventional etchings and drypoints”.  However, in New York in 1947, “the variety and unorthodoxy of the devices Miró employed…testify not only to the imaginative powers of an individual artist, but also to the uninhibited attitude toward experimentation that prevailed at Atelier 17 during the 1940s.  (Joanne Moser’s, Atelier 17 A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Elvehjem Art Center, university of Wisconsin, Madison 1977)

The plate for Mirós Serie I (Dupin 75-82) was printed and published by Maeght in Paris in 1952.  However our impressions were pulled when Miró made the plate in New York.  They are a superb demonstration of Miró exploring the possibilities of an etched plate:  one impression is printed in relief, with the ink rolled onto the surface where with the other impression he has inked and wiped the surface of the plate clean to push the figures forward, haloed by the deep-etched outline. They are a handsome pair and both are annotated, “pour Hayter New York 17/6/1947”.  The relief impression is also annotated on back, “Femme Enfants Etoilé,” while the intaglio impression is annotated, “Jeux d’Enfant”.

We are fortunate that this pair remained together in Hayter’s own collection and we could not be more pleased to offer them 70 years on.

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed relief

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed relief

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 open bite etching, printed intaglio

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed intaglio

Krishna Reddy’s color viscosity intaligo prints

August 1st, 2017

We have a great selection of early and innovative prints selected from Krishna Reddy’s studio.  We are happy to send images and information.  Please contact us: info@dolanmaxwell.com

“I first met Krishna in the early fifties.  He was studying sculpture with Ossip Zakine in Paris.  Zadkine sent Krishna to me because he felt that this young Indian artist also possessed remarkable graphic talents that the atmosphere of the Atelier 17 might allow to develop fully.  Thus it was the sculptural aspect of printmaking that he commenced to develop: not as many other sculptors the repetition of the sculptural drawing nor the representation of sculptures realized or to be realized, but rather the plate as a sculpture in itself and its amplification by means of print.  Thus, whereas a sculptor can erect a framework in space, an object having the relations between internal and external space, in a print made from a sculptured surface it is entirely possible to invert the space of the structure and to exchange the internal with the external space.  This characteristic ambiguity, not in the sense of confusion, but rather in the sense of multiple linked expressions he elaborated not only in black and white but in a very curious and original use of the function of color as space. Others have used the simple consequences of color opposition to demonstrate space as cold color against warm color, tone against a complementary.  Krishna however employed extremely subtle variants of color carried the hollows of a plate going far beyond simple sculptural relief giving as a result a complex web in which light itself becomes the medium of sculpture”.

Stanley William Hayter
Introduction, Krishna Reddy: A Retrospective
Bronx Museum, 1982

Krishna Reddy, Butterfly, 1952 color trial proof

Butterfly, 1952 color trial proof

Rare Modernist intaglio works by Helen Phillips

October 20th, 2015

American sculptor and print maker Helen Phillips born 1913, Fresno, California.  She studied at the School of Fine Art in San Francisco and learned direct carving techniques from Ralph Stackpole, who introduced her to Diego Rivera but Phillips was more excited by Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art than Social Realism.    Phillips won Phelan Traveling Fellowship which allowed her to work in Paris in 1936.   There, she entered Atelier 17, the intaglio print workshop where she met it’s founder and future husband, Stanley William Hayter. Learning to engrave copper in Paris had an important impact on the development of her sculpture, forcing her to become conscious of negative space.  She fled to New York in 1939 and became a pioneer of the New York School, exhibiting with Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Matta, David Hare, Isamu Noguchi and Arshile Gorky.
Phillips’s sculpture and intaglio prints are in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Gallery,  Peggy Guggenheim, Venice,  Dallas Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, New York, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, Princeton University Art Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.  She died in New York in 1995.

Helen Phillips, Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

Atelier 17 in New York, meet and marry

June 25th, 2015

We enjoyed a recent visit with artist Ellen (Abbey) Countey.  Ellen was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1923 and studied with William Zorach at the Art Students League. She is the model for Zorach’s 1942 marble bust, Quest, now at the Wichita Art Museum.  Ellen made the complex and beautiful engraving, Scattered Journey, in 1946 in New York at Atelier 17.  It came to us from Stanley William Hayter’s private collection of works by friends and artists who worked at Atelier 17, which is where Ellen met her husband, Edward Countey.  The Counteys remained in contact with Hayter and Ellen made more engravings at Atelier 17 in Paris in June of 1986.  It was there she met Margo Dolan and Peter Maxwell while they were visiting Hayter’s studio.  A few months later Ellen wrote asking about our Joseph Hecht (1891-1951) catalog.  Hecht introduced Hayter to engraving and they remained close throughout Hecht’s life.

Edward Countey (1921-1984), studied with Moses Soyer at the New School of Art in New York from 1938-42.   He served in the US Army Signal Photographic Corps in New Guinea in 1942-45.  Countey received a 3 year fellowship to study with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in New York shortly after his return.  He assisted Hayter and Jess Paley in producing the educational film, “New Ways of Gravure” and he drew the animated film, “Attack”, for the Signal Corp.  “Attack”  is part of film collection at MOMA.  Countey’s engravings were exhibited internationally with a show organized from MOMA’s collection and had two solo exhibitions in New York.  He later taught at SUNY Stony Brook in the engineering Department and subsequently in the Department of Art.  Countey’s Paw Paw, 1949, is a large and ambitious work with engraving, etching and stenciled color.  An impression was acquired by MOMA in 1949 and it was included in MOMA’s exhibition, “Some American Prints, 1945-50”.  Our impression also belonged to  Hayter, as did Countey’s Apollo.

One of the great joys of what we do is sharing the stories that are behind the works of art.

Engravings, Scattered Journey by Ellen (Abbey) Countey and Paw Paw by Edward Countey

Scattered Journey by Ellen (Abbey) Countey and Paw Paw by Edward Countey

Letterio Calapai’s 1946 Underground

July 24th, 2014
Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Underground by Letterio Calapai (1902-1993) is a dynamic work that shows a keen awareness in the methods of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, incorporating a combination of engraving, soft ground and aquatint techniques.  Calapai’s vivid reaction to the crush of people commuting on the subway at 42nd Street is well matched to the rich surfaces and charged engraved lines.  The subject brings to mind the social realist works of the WPA prints of the 1930s which Calapai knew first hand from his work in the New York print shop.  It is also interesting to consider this work in the context of Benton Spruance’s 1937 series of lithographs, The People Work.  Views to multiple levels of trains and spaces bring to mind the imagined 18th Century interior Prison etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.  In Calapai’s hands the space is flattened out, and a sense of folded space is created by forced angles.  We are above and below the action, seeing it all simultaneously.

 

Werner Drewes: Atelier 17 +

July 30th, 2013

Werner Drewes (1899-1995) studied with Paul Klee, Johannes Itten and Lionel Feininger after enrolling at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1921. After a wedding trip he returned to complete his training with László Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1929.  He emigrated to the United States in 1930 and began teaching printmaking at the Booklyn Museum under the auspices of the WPA. He was a founder of the American Abstract Artists and lectured at Stanley William Hayter‘s Atelier 17 in New York before moving on to a teaching career at Washington University in St. Louis. In the 1940s Drewes befriended Hans Moller, a fellow German ex-patriot and respected artist. We include Moller’s portrait of Drewes here.

A retrospective devoted to Drewes’s prints was mounted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art in 1984. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery of Art, the Philips Collection, the Library of Congress, and National Museum of American Artists, Smithsonian, Washington, DC; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; and Art Institute of Chicago. We have a strong selection of works by Drewes and Moller.
Please let us know if you wish to have images sent, or would like to meet to see them first hand.

Annunciation 1945, engraving

Annunciation 1945, engraving

Le Coq Jaloux, 1942

Le Coq Jaloux, 1942, color woodcut

Hans Moller's 1948 portrait of Werner Drewes

Hans Moller’s 1948 portrait of Werner Drewes

Collections

November 16th, 2012

Additional Contemporary and Modern artists as well as our collections of African American, Atelier 17, and WPA artists will be featured on this page.