HR Giger — The Oeuvre Before Alien

HR Giger — The Oeuvre Before Alien

1961 — 1976

This volume is the first book to document the Swiss artist HR Giger’s lesser-known early work.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Edited by Beat Stutzer. Essays by Beat Stutzer, Kathleen Bühler, Fritz Billeter, and Carlos Arenas

1st edition

, 2007


168 pages, 106 colour and 28 b/w illustrations

20 x 26.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-708-2

In cooperation with Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur


Swiss surrealist artist HR Giger (1940–2014) achieved international fame in 1979 for designing the fantastic creatures and eerie environments that terrified moviegoers in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Alien. Yet before these iconic creations made him a celebrity and won him an Academy Award for visual effects, Giger was already highly regarded in the international art world for his unique freehand painting style and biomechanical dreamscapes. HR Giger—The Oeuvre Before Alien is the first book to document the artist’s lesser known, but no less impressive, early work.
This lavishly illustrated volume traces Giger’s career from his education as an architect and industrial designer at the Zurich College of Art to the development of his ink drawing and oil painting technique and his eventual breakthrough as one of the foremost artists of the fantastic realism school. Featuring many unpublished or rarely available early paintings and drawings, and accompanied by an essay by noted art historian Beat Stutzer, this volume juxtaposes Giger’s paintings with works by his predecessors, including Ensor, Fuseli, Goya, and Piranesi. HR Giger—The Oeuvre Before Alien illuminates the mind of a visual genius whose first artistic experiments were decades ahead of their time.


The book was published to coincide with an exhibition at the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Carlos Arenas

Fritz Billeter

Kathleen Bühler

, born 1968, is curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Art Bern.

Beat Stutzer

, born 1950, read art history, history, and ethnology at University of Basel. He was director of Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur 1982–2011 and has been curator of the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz since 1998. He has curated many exhibitions and published widely on 19th and 20th century art.