Engraving was Hayter’s first love. He wanted to reintroduce it as a tool for what he called “original expression,” which basically means for one’s own work and not for reproducing another artists’ design. There aren’t many artists utilizing engraving today, but Evan Lindquist is one of them. No surprise he has ties to Hayter through his graduate studies at the University of Iowa, where Mauricio Lasansky had founded the printmaking department in the late 1940s (Lasansky worked with Hayter at the New York Atelier 17 in the early 1940s). In recent years, Lindquist has created a series of elegantly engraved portraits of art history’s well-known engravers like Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Dürer, Hendrik Goltzius, William Blake, Hayter, and others. (See his website here: https://evanlindquist.com/seeprints/gallery2.html.) In his engraving, SW Hayter Engraves War, Lindquist portrays Hayter as an intense, powerful figure out of whose burin (his engraving tool) come motifs referring to the Spanish Civil War.
That Lindquist portrays this titan of printmaking creating a print in support of victims of a crazy war, and not as a teacher, is telling. Hayter and a group of artists created two portfolios, Solidarité (1938) and Fraternity (1939), that were fundraisers for the child victims of the Spanish Civil War. Hayter’s plate for Fraternity, which also contains prints by John Buckland Wright, Dalla Husband, Josef Hecht, Wassily Kandinsky, Roderick Mead, Joan Miró, Dolf Reiser, and Luis Vargas, shows a nude male standing in a doorway while an airplane flies overhead. One can’t help but think of Guernica, the small Spanish village that was bombed in April 1937, killing vast numbers of civilian men, women, and children.
Occurrences like Guernica motivated many artists to create work in protest, mostly famously Picasso, and Hayter was no different. He was a passionate humanist who used art to express his profound discomfort with the darkness that befell humanity during the first half of the twentieth century. That the symbols and marks of the war are spitting out vigorously from Hayter’s burin in Lindquist’s portrait is a perfect homage.
Stanley William Hayter (English, 1901-1988)
Untitled, from the portfolio Fraternity, 1936
Sheet: 211 x 161 mm. (8 5/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
Plate: 124 x 73 mm. (4 7/8 x 2 7/8 in.)
Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Sidney Hollander, Baltimore, BMA 1996.8.3
Evan Lindquist (American, born 1936)
SW Hayter Engraves War, 2015
Sheet: 388 x 310 mm. (15 1/4 x 12 3/16 in.)
Plate: 278 x 207 mm. (10 15/16 x 8 1/8 in.)
Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of an Anonymous Donor, BMA 2015.173
Ann's art blog
A small corner of the interwebs to share thoughts on objects I acquired for the Baltimore Museum of Art's collection, research I've done on Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17, experiments in intaglio printmaking, and the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair.