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PAUL LEHR

A legitimate science fiction reader knows the dusty smell of used paperbacks. They have breathed in the particles of yesteryear and exhaled the static scent of space and time. For those who have browsed through the catacombs of lost and expired books, you have probably glanced at a painting or two by the late Paul Lehr. In fact, you have probably seen hundreds of this legendary artist's cover illustrations. Indeed, Paul Lehr was a renowned science fiction artist whose career spanned more than 30 years. Known for his abstract depictions of space, time and culture, Lehr was one of the most prolific and sought-after illustrators on the publishing market during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. His introspective blend of surrealism and technical science made for some of the most interesting, if not puzzling illustrations. Often set against a bleak cosmic landscape, Lehr's paintings were typically deep, dark and murky. His works reflected a stark sense of human loneliness and frailty; of societies on the brink of confusion and collapse. They reflected a strict sense of civil disobedience in the face of intelligent machinery; of a primitive future built on the ashes of technology. With calculated brushstrokes and a delicate touch of psychedelia, Lehr invited readers into another world with his well-defined illustrations. Beyond his clever imagination, it was up to the author to deliver the goods. Like his contemporaries Dean Ellis and Richard Powers, the works of Paul Lehr were both trusted and valid. His cerebral landscapes and unique flying saucers were easily distinguished from other artists. As his prominent illustrations were featured on the covers of Frank Herbert, H.G. Wells and Robert Heinlein, Lehr remained a consistent force in the science fiction industry. Toward the 1980s, Lehr's style seemed to adopt a safer, more mainstream flavor. He reduced his psychedelic stamp and minimized the human despair in exchange for brighter, more optimistic colors. Regardless of this shift towards commercial fantasy, Lehr remained a relevant hand until his death in 1998. Featured here the finest of Lehr's published works from his peak years in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Enjoy the show...