Catalogue entry

Stanley William Hayter 1910-1988

P07028 Le Chas de l’aiguille 1946

Inscribed ‘3/30’ b.l., ‘Le Chas de l’Aiguille’ centre, ‘S. W. Hayter 46’ b.r., and on mount ‘5’ b.l. ‘13¿ x 8¿’ b.c., and ‘Own Mount’ b.r.
Engraving on copper, 13¿ x 8¿ (33.3 x 21.3).
Purchased from Christopher Drake Ltd (Grant-in-Aid) 1973.
Coll: The artist’s collection; Christopher Drake Ltd.
Exh: Whitechapel Art Gallery, November 1957 (169); Christopher Drake Ltd, October-November 1973 (18, repr.).

The artist told Christopher Drake that this work is essentially an erotic image, its title being a pun upon the female anatomy. In a letter to the compiler (24 May 1974) the artist stated that it is ‘really an acrobatic female and the “eye of the needle” might refer to the needle of Gammer Gurton rather than of the Bible.’ (Gammer Gurton’s Needle is a bawdy, vigorous sixteenth-century comedy probably written by John Still, its plot being the search for Gammer’s needle and its discovery in the seat of Gurton’s breeches.)

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974, London 1975.