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Josh Kirby at the Walker Art Gallery

01/08/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Out of this World: the art of Josh Kirby, is open until 30th September 2007 at the Walker Art Gallery in the UK.

Out of this World: the art of Josh Kirby features colourful worlds teeming with other-worldly characters, creatures, fantasy cities and landscapes.

The exhibition spans Kirby’s artistic career from his early days as a freelance artist to his famous cover illustrations for Terry Pratchett's Discworld and Eric/Faust fantasy books. His work has adorned the covers of some of the most iconic science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as film posters such as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Monty Python's Life of Brian.

The exhibition provides an opportunity to view Kirby's often highly complex paintings un-cropped and in their original format.

This exhibition has been selected from the contents of the artist's estate and has been organised in collaboration with the Trustees of the Josh Kirby Estate.

Born Ronald William Kirby in 1928, he was educated at Liverpool City School of Art during the late 1940s where he earned the nickname Josh after fellow students deemed his work to resemble the portraits of 18th century artist Joshua Reynolds.

For a short time Kirby pursued a career as a portrait painter, and was gifted enough to be the youngest artist commissioned to paint the Lord Mayor of Liverpool's portrait in 1950. He lived most of his working life in an old rectory in Norfolk. He died on 23 October 2001, aged 72 years old.

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