• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Swiss surrealist designer for Alien film dies

Malcolm Curtis · 13 May 2014, 10:03

Published: 13 May 2014 10:03 GMT+02:00

The surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer, known as H.R. Giger, died in hospital following a fall, according to the report.

A native of the canton of Graubünden, he was best known for his design of Alien, an American science-fiction horror film from 1979 directed by Ridley Scott, and was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award the following year.

Giger’s design for the film was inspired by his painting Necronom IV.

He was known for his airbrushed silver and grey canvasses depicting nightmarish dreamscapes and “biomechanical” human figures linked to machines.

Born in Chur in 1940, he studied architecture and industrial art at Zurich’s University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).

A friend of Timothy Leary who was influcenced by surrealist painter Salvador Dali, he reportedly suffered from nightmares that he said inspired some of his work.

Books of his paintings and use of his art for music albums and in publications, such as the American science and science fiction Omni, led to his rise in international fame.

His artwork adorned the cover of albums by artists such as Emerson Lake & Palmer, the Dead Kennedys and French singer Mylène Farmer.

In addition, to Alien, Giger was also involved in films such as Poltergeist II (1986), Alien III (1992) and Species (1995).  

In 1998, Giger acquired the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, a village in the canton of Fribourg, to house his work in the H.R. Giger Museum.

He lived and worked in Zurich-Seebach, SRF said.

For all his fame, Giger said he did not gain "big money" from his work in the movies, Zurich newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

Story continues below…

Others, he said, cashed in on his creative work.

"My design was done and changed," Giger is quoted as having said.

"The film business is a gangster business."

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Army locates crashed Swiss jet, pilot still missing
The Swiss jet was an F/A-18 Hornet. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The remains of a Swiss army fighter jet that disappeared over the Alps on Monday have been located in central Switzerland.

Swiss prisons fear drone deliveries to inmates
File photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP

Could drones be used to deliver weapons to prisoners?

United Nations weighs in on burqini ban debate
A London demonstration against the burqini ban. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Burqini bans "fuel religious intolerance" says a UN spokesman.

Record numbers sign up for Swiss Erasmus replacement
File photo: Francisco Osorio

More people than ever are taking part in Switzerland’s study abroad scheme, despite the fact the country is no longer a full member of the EU’s Erasmus programme.

Search underway for pilot of Swiss jet missing in Alps
A Swiss F/A-18 Hornet jet. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The jet is believed to have crashed while taking part in a training exercise.

Why Switzerland is getting worse for expats
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Switzerland plunges 17 places in a global survey of expat life.

Swiss company's Zika test to be used in US
File photo: AFP

US regulators issue emergency authorization to use Roche's not-yet-approved diagnostic test for detecting the Zika virus.

Rising tensions spark rise in violence at asylum centres
Bags at a refugee centre in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Frustrations are spilling over in refugee centres in Switzerland causing an increasing number of confrontations between residents, according to reports.

Survey: majority of Swiss in favour of burqa ban
Photo: Antoine Taveneaux

More than 70 percent of Swiss want to see a ban on the burqa across Switzerland

Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
International flags outside the UN in Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/AFP

For the first time, there are now more than two million foreigners living in Switzerland.

Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Starship
Technology
Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP
Politics
Survey: Swiss optimistic about Brexit effect
Photo: Neil Heritage/Endeavour Fund
Features
Amputee's Matterhorn trek 'makes it more possible' for others
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: EPFL
International
Switzerland tops global innovation table – again
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Photo: Vasily Cotovanu
National
Asylum centre plans shelved after Swiss village protests
Photo: The Local
Politics
Neuchâtel looks to boost rights for foreigners
Photo: AFP
Sport
In pictures: final day success takes Swiss to seven medals
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: AFP
National
Experts debate rail security following Swiss train attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
File photo: AFP
Sport
Two basejumpers die in Lauterbrunnen accidents
Photo: AFP
International
Amnesty fears for child migrants at Italian border
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Photo: AXA Winterthur
National
Report: Geneva is Swiss capital of car theft
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
National
Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland
File photo: Andrew Turner
Technology
Swiss start-up to offer drone service to farmers
Photo: Beat Strasser
National
British quadruple amputee summits Matterhorn
Photo: Judit Klein
National
Switzerland sees rise in child victims of forced marriage
Photo: Michael Schlick/OS Muhr
National
Swiss hiker in Austria rescued after sending SOS to America
Photo: Chris Murphy
Features
14 mistakes foreigners make on moving to Switzerland
Photo: AFP
Lifestyle
Swiss resort unveils huge ‘natural’ fresco on mountain
Photo: C Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism
National
Five great Swiss traditions all expats should try
Photo: AFP
National
Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
Photo: eGuide Travel
National
Prison for woman who faked Swiss airport bomb threat
Photo: AFP
Technology
Swiss solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
4,374
jobs available