Christian Ludwig Attersee

born 1940 in Bratislava/Pressburg, Slovakia, as Christian Ludwig; lives in Vienna and at Semmering in Lower Austria

Biography

Youth spent in Aschach near Linz and at Attersee in Upper Austria

1957–1962 competitive sailor, three-time Austrian national cup winner

1957–1959 Studies in stage architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna

1959–1963 Painting studies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (under Eduard Bäumer)

1965 Move to Berlin

1966 Begins using pseudonym Attersee

1971/1972 DAAD stipend in Berlin

1984 Represents Austria at the Biennale di Venezia

1990–2009 Professor of painting, animated film and tapestries at University of Applied Arts Vienna

1998 Awarded the Große Österreichische Staatspreis für Kunst (Big / Grand Austrian State Prize for Art)

2004 Lovis-Corinth Prize of the Künstlergilde Esslingen, Germany

2005 Awarded the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, First Class

Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Christian Ludwig Attersee began his multi-talented career in 1951, writing short novels and song lyrics, drawing comics and subsequently worked as a visual artist, musician, author, object creator, designer, set designer and filmmaker.

Attersee’s figurative painting makes him one of the biggest individualists of Austrian art, and his »invented objects« of erotic and daily life (such as »Speisekugel«, »Speiseblau« and »Attersteck«), created between 1964 and 1966, brought him notoriety on the European Pop Art scene.

Starting in the middle of the 1960s, Attersee began a friendship with representatives from the Vienna Group (Wiener Gruppe) and the Vienna Actionism (Wiener Aktionismus), participating in two of their group actions, »Aktionskonzert für Al Hansen« (1966) and the legendary »Zock-Fest« (1967).

His work is characterized by a figurative-symbolic style, glowing colors and dynamic brush strokes, often with double-entendre associations and fantasies from a viewpoint that is just as individualistic as it is very Austrian and with a proclivity for sexual persiflage. The picture frame is frequently included in the work just as text elements are embedded in the image.

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Starting in the 1980s, many large projects were created. In 1986 Attersee outfitted Vienna’s first Champagner Ball (Champagne Ball) at the Konzerthaus. In 1987 he created a boat swing for André Heller’s »Luna-Luna-Rummelplatz«. In 1996 he designed a 210-square-meter mosaic front, the Wetterhändler, for a Viennese commercial building which is the largest glass mosaic in Europe. In 2006 Attersee wrapped the Ringturm in Vienna for six weeks with a design inspired by Don Giovanni. In November 2007, the large, 220-square-meter interior mosaic, Reichtum Erde, was finished in the Wiener Geologische Bundesanstalt (Geological Survey of Austria) in Vienna. In spring 2005, Attersee designed a production of Igor Strawinsky’s ballet Petruschka at the Wiener Staatsoper, and in May 2006, a production of the ballet Amadé at the Madlenianum in Belgrade. Attersee outfitted the Erste Liederball des Wiener Männergesangsvereins (First Choral ball put on by the Vienna Men's Choral Society) at the Kursalon in Vienna. In 2008, a production of Richard Strauss’ Salome designed by Attersee (scenery and costume as well) was presented at Theater Bremen. And in 2015, he designed the scenery for the opera Weiße Rose by Udo Zimmermann presented as part of the Bruckner Festival in Linz.

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Music

Music

Christian Ludwig Attersee’s musical ambitions go back as far as his early youth when he began absorbing the mutually exclusive worlds of opera and the upcoming rock-and-roll and popular hits. His first recordings date from the late 1960s – after his first career as a rock'n'roller, then later as a voice and song artist in the circle surrounding the Vienna Actionists. »Atterseelied« and »Atterseewalzer« were pieces created for an early portrait film about him. In the 1970s, together with members of the Vienna Group and the Vienna Actionists he performed within the Formation »Selten gehörte Musik« but also continued to develop his »Malermusik« (painters music) which was based primarily on piano adaptations of pop melodies. He presented this at various locations, mostly in exhibition contexts (which is how the record Klaviertreiben was recorded with Gerhard Rühm in 1980). His »Attersee-Matineen«, which took place continuously over several years, usually featuring illustrious guests, in the 20er Haus in Vienna, are legendary.

In the 1980s, the record Weihnacht zu zweit (1983), recorded together with jazz and blues singer Christine Jones, and the LP Attersee Musik (Lieder von Wetter und Liebe) (1985), dedicated to the eloquent pop ballad, were released which remain Attersee's most acclaimed recordings to date. Attersee's musical activities continued to emerge from his interactions with a wide range of painter and musician friends and they prove to this day that he is an exceptional artist with a great stylistic range. For instance, his remix collection of some of his best pieces (Blut) in 2005, and then, in 2011, another duet LP (Äpfel der Liebe) with Christine Jones, who died in 2017.

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In the Exhibition

In the Exhibition

Christian Ludwig Attersee, Rampi Rampi, around 1975

Munich, 1987, with Christian Ludwig Attersee (voc., piano) and the Ferry Trio, 7:13 min

Film: tv and more.net


As part of the opening of the exhibition Attersee – Frühe Bilder 1964–1974 at the Galerie Klewan in Munich, the artist appeared with the clarinetist Ferry Janoska’s trio in the Musikclub Loft in Munich on September 26, 1987. Under the joint brand name »Atterseezigeuner«, they presented a broad palette of Attersee’s »Kunstlieder« (art songs), from pop hits and folk song renditions to rock-’n’-roll pieces supplemented with Gershwin’s »Summertime«. Attersee’s piano music and the Gypsy clarinet by the famous Roma musician, Ferry Janoska, dominated the sound which imparted a thoroughly idiosyncratic form of fusion type expression. This was particularly clear with the number »Rampi Rampi«, the core piece of the concert and later released as a single: It congenially mixes seven minutes of pop format and art song improvisation, rockabilly and gypsy swing – all centrally punctuated by the acrobatic vocal track of the master. Attersee hits all registers in his crooner voice, reminiscent of Elvis, going from completely yearning schmalzy devotion back to coarse bone dry again. He conveys the feeling of the words «Rampi Rampi« being repeated and rephrased a hundred times over in an artfully modulated, never-ending melange of styles, which yet leaves space for more and after the ending still echoes long in the mind.

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