Ruddell, Gary

Tagged: Art

(1951-    ) American artist, sometimes credited in error as Garry Ruddell. As a high school student, the precocious Ruddell was already selling interior artwork to car magazines, but he formally launched his artistic career after earning a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1975. While also working for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy and other clients, Ruddell began painting sf book covers in 1981 with a portrait of a frightened woman for an edition of William Tenn's collection The Square Root of Man (coll 1968), followed by a playfully askew image of a boy riding a dragon for Avram Davidson's Peregrine: Secundus (1981). He first attracted attention for painting the covers for numerous anthologies and novels in Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey's Thieves' World series, displaying a flair for depicting energetic action and combining realistic figures with less representational backgrounds; one typical effort, for a 1986 edition of Asprin and Abbey's anthology Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn (anth 1980), shows a fur-clad swordsman furiously smiting a hawk-masked antagonist. As Ruddell grew more prominent in the field, he was asked to provide the cover for Dan Simmons's Hyperion (1989), an evocative portrait of the novel's enigmatic Shrike standing on an alien landscape against a rising sun, that earned him a Chesley Award nomination; he then went on to provide similar covers for the other three books in the Hyperion Cantos series. Another prestigious assignment, for Martin H Greenberg's anthology Foundation's Friends: Stories in Honor of Isaac Asimov (anth 1989), inspired a colourful tableau of a banquet attending by Robots, Aliens, and strange spacesuited figures (including, it seems, Isaac Asimov himself).

Ruddell garnered another Chesley Award nomination for his cover for Joe Haldeman's The Hemingway Hoax (1990), a painting of the famed author's face surrounded by smaller Hemingway figures circling his head, and as he continued to work steadily throughout the 1990s, he could at times still do memorable work, like his cover for Kirby Greene's Brotherhood of the Stars (1994), an intriguing depiction of bizarre Aliens, a masked figure in a white robe, and a man emerging from a futuristic car. But many other covers were at best uninspired, suggesting that his heart was no longer in such work, and in fact he was turning his attention to selling his art in other venues and honing his abilities in the field of fine art, which in 2005 became his sole avocation. [GW]

Gary Ruddell

born San Mateo, California: 6 November 1951

died

works

  • Gary Ruddell (New York: Gallery Henoch, 2008) [graph: record of exhibition at Gallery Henoch, 2008: binding unknown/]

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