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Peter Paul Atzwanger




In Peter Paul Atzwanger’s work, the farmer in the field appears to be working effortlessly, carefree, in harmony with nature, captured in a moment of perfect harmony and grace. The farmer is never out of context with the landscape. Often the people are almost lost in the landscape or, as Atzwanger puts it, are »added to the landscape«, which he does not want to trivialize or dramatically heighten. For him, alpine nature is a place of experiencing contrasts and organic structures, a place of confrontation with the plastic volume of the mountains and the space created by the mountains.
With artistic awareness, Atzwanger allows trees, shrubs, fields, mountains, houses, people and shadows to enter into an exciting relationship with one another as formal elements of the natural setting he has chosen. In this way, he conveys an aesthetically distanced relationship to the landscape and farmers, which, for all its closeness and closeness, makes it possible to experience the much-cited »beauty of the land« only through a sensitive awareness.
This is no dull love of the homeland, no blind absorption in nature, but in the original sense of the word »transfiguration« of the farmer and the Alpine landscape. Transfiguration in Atzwanger’s photographs, however, means: to make clear the idea of a non-alienated, meaningful existence, to illuminate it. This completely re-ideological, aesthetic transfiguration of rural existence has recently become increasingly topical in several respects: firstly, because the separation of modern urban man from nature and the fear of the imminent destruction of the so-called environment is being felt ever more painfully.
from: Otto Hochreiter, FOTOHOF Info, issue 4/1982