Christian Ludwig Attersee began his multitalented career in 1951, writing short novels and song lyrics and drawing comic strips, before going on to work as a visual artist, musician, author, object creator, designer, set designer, and filmmaker.
Attersee’s figurative painting makes him one of the biggest individualists in 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 of the Vienna Group and Vienna Actionism, 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 both individualistic and supremely 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.
Starting in the 1980s, many large projects were created. In 1986, Attersee outfitted Vienna’s first Champagne Ball at the Konzerthaus. In 1987, he created a boat swing for André Heller’s Luna-Luna funfair. In 1996, he designed a 210 m2 mosaic front, the Wetterhändler, for a Viennese commercial building: it 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. The large, 220 m2 interior mosaic Reichtum Erde in the Geological Survey of Austria (GBA) in Vienna was completed in November 2007. In spring 2005, Attersee designed a production of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka at the Vienna State Opera , and in May 2006, a production of the ballet Wolfgang Amadé at the Madlenianum in Belgrade. Attersee outfitted the first choral ball put on by the Vienna Men’s Choral Society at the Kursalon in Vienna. In 2008, a production of Richard Strauss’s Salome designed by Attersee (both scenery and costumes) was performed at Theater Bremen. And in 2015, he designed the set for the opera Weiße Rose by Udo Zimmermann presented as part of the Bruckner Festival in Linz.
Christian Ludwig Attersee, »Schampferde, Schönheit«, 1968 ...more
Acrylic, lacquer on primed canvas, 41.34 × 41.34 inches. Collection Klewan. Image via derstandard.at; Photo: Courtesy Atelier/Archiv Attersee, Wien; © Christian Ludwig Attersee/Bildrecht, Vienna ...less
Christian Ludwig Attersee, »Gaumenjuchei«, 1976 ...more
Oil, gouache on paper, 24.8 × 35,65 inches. Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, acquired in 1986. Image via mumok.at; Photo: mumok; © Christian Ludwig Attersee/Bildrecht, Vienna ...less
Christian Ludwig Attersee, »Postfrische«, 1979–1981 ...more
Acrylic, lacquer on canvas, 41.34 x 62.99 inches. Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, acquired in 1982. Image via mumok.at; Photo: mumok; © Christian Ludwig Attersee/Bildrecht, Vienna ...less
Christian Ludwig Attersee, »Erste Feuchte« [Primal Moistness], 1992–1993 ...more
Acrylics, lacquer on canvas, 104.33 x 74.8 inches. Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, acquired in 1995; Image via mumok.at; photo: mumok; © Christian Ludwig Attersee/Bildrecht, Vienna ...less