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Lundgren, Carl M

Entry updated 6 February 2023. Tagged: Artist.

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(1947-    ) American artist. After some early involvement in sf fandom, the self-taught Lundgren first specialized in underground Comics and posters for 1960s rock concerts featuring performers like the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane; most of these posters, now available for sale on eBay, reflect the "psychedelic" style of the era and interestingly contrast with his more sedate genre work. He moved to New York in the late 1960s and eventually received some assignments for book covers, beginning with a sombrely atmospheric portrait of robed figures for the cover of Roger Zelazny's To Die in Italbar (1974). Soon, he was working regularly for several publishers and steadily building his reputation, as he was nominated in 1982 for the Hugo for Best Professional Artist; he later won two Chesley Awards for general artistic achievement and for his cover for Alan Dean Foster's The Day of the Dissonance (1984), showing a grey, Cat-like woman warrior guarding a man and a woman on a horse. He was best known for his work in Fantasy, often painting iconic figures like angels, dragons, unicorns, and winged horses (see Supernatural Creatures), but he demonstrated his versatility by also painting covers for science fiction novels, including several books by Robert A Heinlein. One of these covers, for the 1981 edition of his anthology Tomorrow, the Stars (1951), highlights his flair for humour by featuring two green Aliens with eyestalks incongruously accompanying an adorable little girl.

Despite his successes, Lundgren was not content with the status of a major sf artist, and in 1987, he resolved to abandon the field for a career as a fine artist; since then, he has primarily earned a living by vigorously exhibiting his works and selling his original paintings and prints. As one promotional device, he self-published a book of his artwork, Carl Lundgren: Great Artist (graph 1993). Two pieces from this later body of work, often featuring familiar fantasy subjects like fairies and angels, won Lundgren additional Chesley Awards in 1994 and 1995. Lundgren's story thus serves to validate the now-familiar argument that sf Illustration, once an adjunct to the literature, has become an independent force, fully capable of thriving and developing on its own without depending upon books and magazines for support. [GW]

Carl M Lundgren

born Detroit, Michigan: 12 July 1947



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