H. R. Giger is recognized as one of the world's foremost artists
of Fantastic Realism. Born in 1940 to a chemistís family
in Chur, Switzerland, he moved in 1962 to Zurich, where he
studied architecture and industrial design at the School of
Applied Arts. By 1964 he was producing his first artworks,
mostly ink drawings and oil paintings, resulting in his first
solo exhibition in 1966, followed by the publication and world-wide
distribution of his first poster edition in 1969. Shortly
after, he discovered the airbrush and, along with it, his
own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation
of many of his most well known works, the surrealistic Biomechanical
dreamscapes, which formed the cornerstone of his fame. To
date, 20 books have been published about Gigerís art.
Giger's third and most famous book, Necronomicon, published
in 1977, served as the visual inspiration for director Ridley
Scott's film Alien, Giger's first film assignment, which earned
him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects
for his designs of the film's title character and the stages
of its lifecycle, plus the film's the otherworldly environments.
Giger's other film works include Poltergeist II, Alien3 and
Giger's album covers for Debbie Harry and the band ELP were
voted among the 100 best in music history in a survey of rock
journalists. Throughout his career, Giger also worked in sculpture
and, in 1988, created his first total environment, the Tokyo
Giger Bar, and in 1992 a second Giger Bar in Chur.
In 1998, The HR Giger Museum, a four-level building complex
in the historic, medieval walled city of GruyËres, Switzerland,
opened its doors in June of 1998.
As the permanent home to many of the artist's most prominent
works, the Giger Museum houses the largest collection of the
artist's paintings, sculptures, furniture and film designs,
dating from the early 1960's until the present day.
The top floor of the Museum houses Giger's private collection,
which includes over 600 works of art by Salvador Dali, Ernst
Fuchs, Dado, Bruno Weber, G¸nther Brus, Claude Sandoz,
FranÁois Burland, Friedrich Kuhn, Joe Coleman, Sibylle
Ruppert, Andre Lassen, among many others.
The Giger Museum Gallery is located in the adjoining wing
of the museum complex, above the H.R. Giger Museum Bar. There,
since 1999, and now on a twice a year rotating basis, Giger
utilizes the three room exhibition space to show the work
of artists, mostly those already in his private collection,
in an effort to help broaden the art appreciation of visitors
to his museum. Previous exhibitions have been for Wessi, Prof.
Ernst Fuchs, Hans Bellmer, Fred Knecht, Stelio Diamantopoulos,
Martin Schwarz, Claude Sandoz, G¸nther Brus, FranÁois
Burland, Rudolf St¸ ssi, Victor Safonkin, and the Society
for Art of Imagination.
The adjoining new HR Giger Museum Bar was officially opened
on April 12, 2003 as part of the museum complex. Gigerís
designs for the bar emphasizes the pre-existing Gothic architecture
of the 400 year old space. The giant skeletal arches covering
the vaulted ceiling, together with the bar's fantastic stony
furniture, evoke the building's original medieval character
and give the space a church-like feeling.
During the last 4 years, Giger has been honored with a series
of major museum retrospectives. In 2004 was the opening of
a six-month exhibition at the Museum Halle Saint Pierre in
Paris, France. "Le monde selon H.R. Giger" (The
World According to H.R. Giger.) The Paris retrospective was
followed by ëH.R. Giger in Pragueî in 2005 at the
National Technical Museum of Prague, in the Czech Republic
and in 2006 by "Giger in Wien" at the Kunsthaus
Wien, in Austria. In July of 2007 Giger had his first museum
exhibition in Switzerland, in the city of his birth, Chur,
at the Bundner Kunstmuseum, followed in October by his major
exhibit in Spain at The Polytechnic University of Valencia.
The artist lives and works in Zurich with his wife, Carmen
Maria Scheifele Giger, the co-director of the H.R. Giger Museum.
To learn more about the artist and his current projects, visit
his official website, www.HRGiger.com