One of the world’s foremost Surrealist artists, H. R. Giger was born in 1940 in Switzerland. By 1964, he was producing his first ink drawings and oil paintings, resulting in his first solo exhibition in 1966. Shortly after, he discovered the airbrush and his own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation of many of his most well known works—the surrealistic biomechanical paintings that form the cornerstone of his fame. To date, twenty books have been published about Giger’s art.Giger’s most famous book, Necronomicon (1977), served as the visual inspiration for the film Alien, which earned him the 1980 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his designs of the movie’s title character, and the stages of its lifecycle, plus the film’s otherworldly environments. Giger’s other film works include PoltergeistII, AlienIII and Species.
The H. R. Giger Museum in the historic, walled city of Gruyres, Switzerland, celebrates its 10th Anniversary this summer. The permanent home to many of the artist’s most prominent works, the museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, furniture and film designs, dating from the early 1960s until the present day. Displayed on the top floor is a selection from Giger’s own private collection of more than 600 artworks. The Giger Museum Bar, the showcase of a total Giger environment, 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, preserve the building’s original medieval character and evoke a church-like feeling.
To help broaden the appreciation of his museum’s visitors for other Fantastic and Surrealist artists, Giger devotes an exhibition space known as the Giger Museum Gallery where, on a continuing basis, he features the works of other masters in this genre. In recent years, Giger has been honored with a series of major museum retrospectives in Paris, Prague, Vienna and Switzerland.