H.R. Giger (1940-2014)

Swiss artist H.R. Giger, 74, died May 12, 2014 in a Zurich hospital after being injured in a fall. Giger is best known for his work on the film Alien (1979), particularly his iconic, grotesque aliens; he was part of the team that won an Academy Award for best visual effects. Giger’s style had a huge influence on SF films in following decades. He published numerous art books and contributed covers to Omni and Twilight Zone, among other magazines.

Hansreudi Giger was born February 5, 1940 in Chur, Switzerland. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich from 1962-70, with a focus on industrial design and architecture.

Giger’s work combined the organic and the mechanical, often to surreal and disturbing effect. His work was first collected in A Rh+ (1971) and H.R. Giger (1976), but his breakthrough work was H.R. Giger’s Necronomicon (1977), which brought him to the attention of American and British readers, including the Alien producers. His work was collected in numerous volumes, and he created designs for other films, did artwork for album covers, and designed furniture and did interior design.

Giger was nominated for a Chesley Award for artistic achievement in 1993, and a World Fantasy Award for best artist in 1997. He was named a Spectrum Grandmaster in 2005, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2013. He is survived by his wife Carmen Maria Scheifele, director of the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland.

See the June issue of Locus for a complete obituary.