Terra Collection Initiative: Atelier 17 e a gravura moderna nas Américas / Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas

This exhibition, a collaboration between the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC-USP), and the Terra Foundation for American Art, explores the influence of artist and printmaker Stanley William Hayter (1901–1988) on the evolution of printmaking in the United States and Brazil during the first half of the 20th century. Assembled around a never-before exhibited group of prints gifted in 1951 to MAC-USP by American philanthropist Nelson Rockefeller (1908–1979) and another smaller group gifted by Lessing Roswenwald, the exhibition highlights the impact that Hayter, well known as an experimental printmaker and teacher, had on a vast group of established and emerging artists. Centered on key prints by Hayter, the exhibition also includes an array of works by artists who printed alongside him in his workshop, Atelier 17, as well as a selection of prints that help to contextualize the practice of printmaking in the United States from 1900 through 1950.

Born in 1901 in London, England, Stanley William Hayter moved to Paris in 1926 and began his studies at the Académie Julian, but left the school soon after and discovered copper engraving, a medium he quickly became invested in for its expressiveness. The smooth, metallic surface of copper allowed lines to be drawn directly onto the copper plate with a freedom that aligned with Hayter’s artistic interest in automatic drawing and amorphous, organic shapes, or biomorphism.

In 1927 Hayter established the print studio Atelier 17 in Paris, which he relocated to New York City in 1940. The studio became renowned in both cities for Hayter’s generosity, energy, creative expression, and embrace of established and emerging artists. His practice impacted artists as varied as Americans Sue Fuller, Jackson Pollock, and Louise Nevelson, and Brazilians Geraldo de Barros, Fayga Ostrower, and Livio Abramo.

Dates & Venues

March 23, 2019–June 2, 2019
Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Works of Art from the Terra Foundation Collection

The exhibition of works on paper features 14 works from the Terra Foundation Collection, including:


Atelier 17: Gravura Moderna nas Américas / Atelier 17: Modern Printmaking in the Americas. São Paulo: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, 2019.

Related Content

A two-day international symposium will take place on April 11-12, 2019, featuring talks by print scholars from Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. A selection of these symposium papers will be included in the exhibition catalogue.

A week-long graduate-level art history course for students at the Universidade de São Paulo will be taught by United States scholar and print specialist Christina Weyl. Titled “The Women of Atelier 17,” the course will focus on the nearly 100 women artists who were active in the workshop’s New York iteration between 1940 and 1955.

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