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Hector Saunier

"The instrument that inspires me most is the engraver. I improvise directly on the copper. The color, essential, is a completely different adventure."


Notes of biography

The painter and engraver Hector Saunier is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. He lives his first 25 years under dictatorial regimes in his country. He studies architecture, while working in various “alimentary jobs” in order to save money for the journey he has in mind. The Great Adventure starts in 1961. Hector Saunier moves to Paris. In 1966, chance brought him into contact with Stanley William Hayter and he decides to study printmaking at the Atelier 17. Saunier learns his trade mainly with Hayter, who quickly recognizes his talent. He quickly becomes a master of color and light, putting all his wealth in the service of creative printing intaglio.
Hector Saunier becomes assistant in the workshop, working closely with Hayter for twenty years. In 1978, he becomes Associate Director of the Atelier 17, which he conducts during the absences of Hayter.
His great technical and artistic virtuosity leads him much to print a great part of the work of the one he considers his master. Hector Saunier is now co-director, with Juan Valladares from the Atelier Counterpoint, a name given to the old Atelier 17 after Hayter's death in 1988. Continuing the tradition, the Counterpoint workshop is an experimental workshop attended by artists and students from all parts of the world, a place of exchange and learning. Many are the artists that are famous who work in the Atelier 17, and later in the workshop that succeeded it. Following the example of what Hayter encourages, the practice of burning is considered here as a way of creation rather than a means of reproduction.
Under the watchful eye of Hector Saunier, his partner and assistants, artists, still work nowadays directly on the plate, constantly urged by new experiences and new techniques. The method of simultaneous colors or engraving techniques in several colors on one plate, dear to Hayter, the range of actions they offer, encouraging artists to continually innovate. Collaboration between old and new promotes the spirit of researching and creativity. Everyone here gives an appointment to himself for his own discovery. Isn’t this a beautiful definition of art?
The graphic work of Hector Saunier, sophisticated and subtle, is a celebration of the expressive power of line, texture, space and color. Refined and incomparable printer, the artist shows an aesthetic sensibility which is infinitely personal, unlimited imagination playing with colors as a virtuoso musician does with his harmonies. The engraved line of Hector Saunier is bold and spectacular, swirling and dipping into space, always between swelling and shrinking. If the “imagery” is not related to surrealism, his creative process is largely in tune with the surreal automatic design, unconscious sources of creative inspiration. His work is altogether of a surpriseling beauty, poetic and full of mystery.
Whether in group or personal events, Saunier has exhibited in England, France, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Canada, Japan, Germany and Italy, Brazil and many other countries (Morocco, Norway, Colombia, Belgium, Malaysia, Korea, Spain, Cuba, USA). In United States, his work belongs to the collections of the Library of Congress, to the Rosenwald Collection in Philadelphia and the New York Public Library.
Hayter said upon him: “He does not only create a space of imagination beyond our normal experience, but leads us into another dimension of the consciousness of the color in itself - making us aware of the unsuspected amplitude of one of the most joyful aspects of life.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
Non réalisé à ce jour. All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Nick (“). Linienkonstruktion », Ed. Hamburger Kunstverein, 1970
  • « Hector Saunier », S.W. Hayter et autres, Galerie R. Douwna, Londres, 1987
  • « H. Saunier: Moderne Meistergraphik », cat., E. et R. Kistner, Nürnberg, 1988
  • « H. Saunier », in « Hayter et l'Atelier 17 », Ed. Musée de Gravelines, 1993
  • « Hector Saunier », Carlo Bertelli et autres, Keum San Gallery, Séoul, 1994
  • « H. Saunier », R. Marteau et autre, Musée He Xiang Ning Art, Shenzhen, 2004
  • « H. S. - Grabados y pinturas », R. Marteau, cat., Gal. Arroyo, Buenos Aires (Arg.), 2006
  • « S. W. Hayter - H. Saunier : Vibrazioni di colore », cat., Cannobio, Italie, 2017
To read from the artist :
  • « Rosace », R. Marteau, gravures H. Saunier, Ed. Aux dépens des auteurs, 1999
  • « Aux buveurs de rosée », Robert Marteau, gravures H. Saunier, Ed. Iapress, 2003
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Art movements

+ ATELIER 17 / 1927-1965 / Anton Prinner, Mauricio Lasansky, Jacques Lipchitz, Mark Rothko, etc.
+ ARTISTS OF TODAY / XXth century /
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover