John Holmes, 1935–2011



Artist John Holmes, whose obituary was published this week, had a style that was immediately recognisable from the many paintings featured on book covers (and a few record sleeves) in the 1970s and 1980s. His painting for The Female Eunuch is by far the most well-known, of course, although I often used to wonder how many people who knew the picture could have named the artist responsible. Holmes’ art brought a touch of Magritte-like Surrealism to cover illustration (at times the debt to Magritte was quite overt), and his images are familiar to anyone in the UK who was reading science fiction or horror during the 70s. He also has the distinction of being the first artist to provide a cover for an M. John Harrison book with the painting for Harrison’s debut novel, The Committed Men, in 1971. (Or not quite… See comments.)

The McNeill Gallery has some original work for sale while the artist himself talked about some of his cover art at All Things Horror.





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