H.R. Giger at Lomex Gallery: HRGNYC

H.R. Giger at Lomex Gallery: HRGNYC


H.R.Giger, N.Y.City Portfolio, 1983. ©️ Estate of HR Giger.

February 7, 2022
H.R. Giger at Lomex Gallery
January 29–March 12, 2022
Lomex Gallery
86 Walker Street #3
10013 New York New York

KALEIDOSCOPE is pleased to announce HRGNYC, the largest exhibition of H.R. Giger’s work in New York in nearly three decades, on view at Lomex Gallery, New York through March 12. Co-curated with Alessio Ascari, the exhibition is accompanied by H.R. Giger N.Y. City, a rare artist book originally published in 1981 by Ugly Publishing Zurich—Giger’s own fictional publishing house—which is now being republished by KALEIDOSCOPE. On Sunday, January 13, a special live act by avant-garde metal guitarist and composer Mick Barr aka Ocrilim will be hosted at the gallery space.

Giger made many visits to New York and the city’s landscape was a continuous source of inspiration to him throughout his career. Evident in his work even from the age of 18, New York’s urban landscape became the basis for a terrifying mythological world of technical and occult majesty, a negative utopia that expressed itself as a philosophical inverse of the sublime. His iconic “New York City” paintings, displayed at the Hansen galleries on 57th street in 1980, intermingled figures drawn from his own occult mythos with a claustrophobic futurist steel skyline.

Even from Switzerland, Giger was continually engaged in the counter-cultural fabric of New York and a major force in shaping the scope of Downtown. In 1980, he met Chris Stein, Blondie’s co-founder, guitarist and Debbie Harry’s life-long creative partner, and collaborated with Harry on the iconic KooKoo album cover, and its accompanying music videos. On view in the gallery are a selection of photographs taken by Chris Stein on the sets of this collaboration, a series that conveys the full array of the scope of Giger’s creative vision.

Giger continued to collaborate with numerous musicians and had far-reaching influence in punk rock, metal, techno, gothic, and industrial subcultures. In 1998, he designed the VIP room of Peter Gatien’s landmark Hell’s Kitchen club The Limelight, housed in a deconsecrated church on 20th street—a collaboration which established him as a cultural icon of NYC nightlife. Infamous haunt of the Club Kids and apogee of New York cool, the VIP room only closed its doors upon the destruction of the club in 2002. A centerpiece of that installation was Giger’s Harkonnen Chair, originally designed for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unrealized 1975 film Dune, which is now on view in the gallery. 

Despite Giger’s cult-like status amongst leading contemporary artists and his far-reaching influence on popular culture, he has been absent in many ways from the main narrative discourse of contemporary art history. This exhibition, part of an international effort to redress this curious situation, hopes to begin to situate Giger as one of the most impactful and provocative artists of the latter half of the twentieth century, a key figure in the cultural history of New York, and as an artist of extraordinary relevance to our current fraught political and ecological moment.

Hans Ruedi Giger (1940–2014) was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer known for his biomechanical creatures, extraterrestrial landscapes, and disturbing sexual machines. In a career that spanned over five decades, he employed a staggering variety of media, including furniture, movie props, prints, paintings and sculptures, often creating exhibition displays and total environments with the immersive quality of a wunderkammer—including, most notably, the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères. In 1979, his concept design for Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, catapulting his daunting vision of death and futurism to fame.

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February 7, 2022

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