THe 2001 fiLe
A Design For (Space) Life
released oUT NoW! 336 pages | Hardback
Author Christopher Frayling
Publisher reel art Press
Stanley Kubrick’s fastidiousness was legendary, so it’s no surprise that this book of 2001 concept art is equally obsessive. It focuses on the archive of Harry Lange – the NASA designerturned-Art Director who visualised the film’s hardware after Kubrick’s intended collaborator, Ken Adam, bailed on what he saw as a half-formed and stressful project.
Lange’s designs are remarkably believable. Indeed, at times this feels more like a technical manual than an art book, with page after page of crisp black and white line drawings detailing chairs, docking bays and landing pads. More exciting are the alternative designs for the space station, various craft and the monolith – of which we see numerous angular designs, but none as implacably eerie as that simple rectangle.
The cult of Kubrick will be in heaven here. And while agnostics may find the book a little dry in places, the art and Frayling’s text make for an engaging insight into the collaboration between Lange, Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke – three geniuses pulling together to create a masterpiece. Will Salmon
The cult of Kubrick will be in heaven here
2001 wasn’t Lange’s only brush with SF: he also worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.