SF books’s cover illustration by the German Artist Eyke Volkmer for the science fiction series, “Weltraum” (Space) of Wilhelm Goldmann publishing house, Germany. From left : “Islands in The Sky” by Arthur C.Clarke, “Solar Lottery” by Philip K.Dick, “Planet of the Apes” by the french writer Pierre Boulle
“It doesn’t look like this in outer space !”
This was how publisher Wilhelm Goldmann reacted to the cover drafts submitted by illustrator Eyke Volkmer for the science-fiction series of the publishing house.
The first book of the Wilhem Goldmann pocket books SF series Weltraum (Space), Isaac Asimov’s “The Currents of Space”, published in Western Germany in 1962.
The designs were abstract, airbrushed in vivid colours. If Goldmann knew what it looked like in outer space, he could change the designs accordingly, is what Volkmer replied over 50 years ago.
“No, no,” the publisher said in return, “I like what you are doing, it’s all fine, we’ll continue.”
This exchange laid the foundation of what would become an extraordinary publication series that was very different from the design of other publications at the time, both in Germany and internationally.
The german translation of the first ever (East) European SF anthology, Darko Suvin’s “Other Worlds, Other Seas. Science Fiction from Socialist Countries” (1970). Short stories from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and USSR : Stanislaw Lem, Josef Nesvadba, Anton Donev, Vladimir Colin, Ilya Varshavsky, Guenadi Altov, Anatoly Dneprov, Romain Yarov, Nikolay Toman. Cover’s illustration by Eyke Volkmer.
The collaboration lasted for more than ten years, during which Volkmer designed the covers for 241 Science-Fiction books for Goldmann.
Volkmer did work for other publishers and illustrated other genres as well, but the series “Goldmanns Zukunftsromane” and “Goldmanns Weltraum Taschenbücher” can be regarded as the core of his creative output. Which stopped when he left both Munich and his graphic work behind in 1973.
His work had been almost forgotten soon after that. Undeservedly so, in our opinion. Which is why we are very happy to be able to show all of Volkmers science-fiction illustrations in the Stadthaus Kabinett.
Eyke Volkmer was born to German parents in Istanbul in 1934. In 1940 the whole family moved to Berlin, followed by a relocation the much safer Munich in 1943. In the 1950ies, the Volkmers moved back to Istanbul. Eyke however stayed behind, starting his graphic studies. He now lives in his old home in Munich, is former design studio.
Project management: Tommi Brem
Opening of the Eyke Volkmer’s book covers SF illustrations during the Kulturnacht (Cultural Night), Saturday, September the 20th 2014, from 6pm , Ulm City Gallery, Germany.
Sunday, October 5th, 2014, 15.00 : Accompanying event to the exhibition – Exhibition tour and discussion with Eyke Volkmer and Tommi Brem.
In the 1960ies and 1970ies Eyke Volkmer has created 162 covers for the paperback series Goldmanns Weltraum Taschenbücher. In Germany, his style was quite unique, at least for his time and the genre. Even if his publisher thought that space looked different. For the first time, all these great covers are available in one book.
© Eyke Volkmer, Wilhelm Goldmann (Courtesy of)