Christian Ludwig Attersee was born in 1940 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (today Slovakia). Four years later, his family moved to Austria; today he lives in Vienna and Semmering, Lower Austria. Attersee spent his young years in Aschach near Linz and by Attersee, Upper Austria.
He was one of the most successful yachtsmen of Austria, thus his nom de plume Attersee. He became famous not only as fine and visual artist, but as a musician, writer, object maker, designer, set designer and film maker.
However, first and foremost, he is noted as one of the leading exponents of objective painting in Europe of the last 50 years; he is a lone wolf in nearly all fields of the visual arts.
His first exhibitions in the mid-1960s brought success along with friendship and collaboration with artists such as Günter Brus, Gotthard Graubner, Jörg Immendorff, Markus Lüpertz, Hermann Nitsch, Walter Pichler, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm, Oswald Wiener and others. Ever since Attersee‘s first objective inventions Gegenstandserfindungen (1964-66) in the sphere of eroticism and everyday life, he has been appraised as an independent influence alongside other artists in European
Attersee is the great lone wolf of Austrian art of the 1960s, a counterpole to Viennese actionism. In the second half of the 1970s, Attersee was the founding father of “New Austrian Painting.”
In 1984, Attersee represented Austria with extraordinary success at the Biennale di Venezia.
From 1990 to 2009, he worked as professor of painting, animation film and tapestry at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
In spring 2002, a comprehensive retrospective of Attersee‘s work was presented at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In 2005, a major Attersee exhibition including works of the last 5 years was held at the Vienna BA-CA Kunstforum; this was taken over in augmented form in the summer of 2006 by the Würth Collection, Künzelsau.
In spring 2005, the ballet “Petrushka” by Igor Stravinsky was performed in a set designed by Attersee, while in May 2006, he designed the set for the ballet “Amadé” at the Belgrade Madlenianum.
For six weeks in the autumn of 2006, the Viennese Ringturm tower was wrapped in a painted Don Giovanni composition by Attersee.
2007: decorations for the 1st Liederball of the Vienna Men‘s Choral Society in the Kursalon.
In November, the artist finished the interior mosaic “Reichtum Erde” (Earth‘s Riches) (220 square meters) at the Geological Federal Institute in Vienna.
The 2008 production of Richard Strauss‘s „Salome“ at the Theatre Bremen featured stage and costume designs by Attersee.
In 2015, he designed the set for Udo Zimmermann’s opera “Weiße Rose” (White Rose) at the Bruckner Festival in Linz; it can also be seen as an installation since the accompanying exhibition is held in the theater foyer.
In May 1998, he was awarded the 1997 Grand Austrian State Prize for art.
In summer 2004, he received the Lovis Corinth Prize of the Künstlergilde Esslingen / Germany.
In September 2005, he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art 1st Class.
There have been more than 500 solo exhibitions of his work throughout Europe and the USA.