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Paul Lehr (1930-98) studied at the prestigious Pratt Institute under Stanley Meltzoff, and while he did a number of great covers between 1954 and his death in 1998, I most associate his work with 1960s and 1970s science fiction. While not as surreal as Richard Powers’ art, Lehr moved towards a less-representational style in the late ’50s that became his trademark. His worlds are exotic and mercurial, a trippy haze of colors and shapes—strange egg-shaped objects, eyes and spheres, insignificant people in the shadow of some spaceship or monster, all awash in reds and greens and blues. I’m still surprised that despite several Hugo Award nominations, Lehr never won any. In fact, the only award I know that he won was the 1982 Frank R Paul Award. By the 1980s Lehr had progressed towards sculpture though he continued to produce book cover art during the ’80s and ’90s, until his death from Pancreatic cancer.

Below is a hodge-podge of his book covers and SF art; sadly I don’t have titles to all of them, and I’m not even sure if they were titled in the first place. Lehr did hundreds upon hundreds of book covers—ISFDB lists over 300 for science fiction book/magazine covers alone, not counting his covers for other genres, all of his interior art, and his non-cover artwork.

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