Jasper Johns – you won’t regret it

A Viennese gallery refuses to neglect contemporary art despite its impressive collection of art from the 18th and 19th century.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

The Belvedere is one of the Austrian capital’s most popular museums. On a regular basis, exhibitions consisting of paintings by famous artists like Emil Nolde, Claude Monet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and others are drawing the crowds. Its permanent Upper Belvedere showrooms – where works of art by Gustav Klimt, Emil Jakob Schindler and others are on display – are immensely popular too.

However, the prestigious cultural institution is not ignoring achievements by 21st century artists either. Now around 30 paintings, drawings and prints by Jasper Johns are on display at the Upper Belvedere palace.

Johns made a name for himself with iconic illustrations and prints in the 1950s. The 84-year-old, who was born in Augusta, Georgia, is still active. All works on display in two rooms as part of the Belvedere’s “Jasper Johns: Regrets” exhibit were created only recently – in 2013 and 2014. An early photograph depicting Lucian Freud plays an important role in Johns’ “Regrets” series. The Viennese exhibition is based on a concept by the Museum of Modern Art New York.

>> http://www.belvedere.at

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: vibrant Vienna

A Vienna-born writer has met very special residents of her hometown to create an unusual portrait. Clara Hein interviewed actors, entertainers and coffeehouse managers SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAto trace the spirit of Vienna. She examined its markets, cafes and architecture to underline the unique character of the popular city trip destination. Her book “Stadtgespräche aus Wien” is based on personal experiences and discoveries as well as on conversations with Roland Neuwirth, Josef Hader, Hermes Phettberg and many others. However, Hein not only focused on contemporary Vienna. Several chapters are dedicated to previous decades – starring Alma Mahler and Helmut Qualtinger. “Stadtgespräche aus Wien” is part of a series released by Gmeiner which includes Nina Paulsen’s “Stadtgespräche aus Hamburg” and “Stadtgespräche aus Rosenheim” by Christine Basler and Erika Thimel.

Stadtgespräche aus Wien
By Clara Hein
Published by Gmeiner (www.gmeiner-verlag.de)

What can you expect from a book featuring facts about a city which claims that the information it contains is unnecessary? Holzbaum Verlag publishing house recently released a holzbfollow-up due to the enormous success of its first “Unnützes WienWissen” edition. Both volumes, which feature the alleged abundance even in their titles, are packed with fun facts about the Austrian capital. It might be hard to believe here and there, but all of it is true. These books are ideal additions to comprehensive tourist guides and splendid lavish picture books celebrating the beauty of Vienna. “Unnützes WienWissen” & “Unnützes WienWissen 2” include remarkable facts about famous artists like Arnold Schönberg and Joseph Haydn – and they inform about the secret of the significant yellow colour of the Schönbrunn Palace facade. Other chapters are dealing with local transport (double-decker public service buses in Vienna?), that Kurt Waldheim song by Lou Reed and culinary curiosities (a schnitzel record!).

Unnützes WienWissen & Unnützes WienWissen 2
By the stadtbekannt.at team
Published by Holzbaum (www.holzbaumverlag.at)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Bassman & Himmel – photo heaven

The oeuvre of two legendary photographers is currently on display at a prestigious gallery in Vienna.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

On two floors, the Kunst Haus Wien (www.kunsthauswien.com) presents images taken by Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel. Over decades, the couple – who got married in 1935 – had a strong influence on fellow photographers thanks to their creativity and unusual approach.

“Zwei Leben für die Fotografie” (Two Lives for Photography), as the exhibition is entitled, features impressive black and white photos of the Manhattan skyline but also pictures taken at a boxing gym. Furthermore, the exhibit – which has been organised in partnership with Hamburg’s Haus der Photographie – consists of Himmel’s controversial nudes series and his famous ballet photographs. Several portraits of each other are on display as well.

Bassman and Himmel both grew up in families of Ukrainian migrants in New York. Their working portfolio was truly multilayered. Bassman and Himmel built up a reputation with intimate black and white photographs but also created outstanding fashion photos for Harper’s Bazaar. This wide spectrum of subjects makes the Kunst Haus Wien exhibit a very special experience.

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Ringstraße & Redelings

The history and contemporary importance of Vienna’s most famous road is now documented by a spectacular picture book. Edited by Alfred Fogarassy, half S4022718a dozen of experts contributed articles examining the creation of the city’s Ringstraße. Nora Schoeller took brilliant photos to demonstrate how the boulevard is looking today. However, the Hatje Cantz publication also features many photographs taken inside several palaces located at the Ringstraße – readers can brace for breathtaking ceiling frescoes, golden chandeliers and lavish decorations. “Die Wiener Ringstraße” contains around 200 photographs – old and new, black and white as well as colour shots. The book’s release is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Ringstraße construction kickoff. Franz Joseph I of Austria controversially decided to relocate all of the capital city’s significant institutions at the new boulevard. The result: an undisputed triumph. Now cultural centres and important buildings of bourgeoisie and aristocracy were situated door to door. Today, the Ringstraße is a popular running and cycling route – and it encircles most of the city’s touristic highlights: Burgtheater, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Kärntner Straße and Graben. The road is also a key route for Fiaker horse carriages as many beautiful parks, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), the parliament and the University of Vienna are located right there.

Die Wiener Ringstraße
By Alfred Fogarassy
Published by Hatje Cantz (www.hatjecantz.com)

The funny sides of several German football clubs and their players are now portrayed by a new series of books created by a bestseller author. Ben Redelings, who previously released SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAvarious soccer anecdotes collections (“Tausche Schwester gegen Endspielkarte”, “Tausche Schwester gegen Endspielkarte”) has no focused on the most popular Bundesliga teams and their history. His 160-page “FC-Album” features hundreds of amusing statements by legendary players of 1. FC Köln such as Pierre Littbarski, Thomas Häßler and Toni Schumacher. Christoph Daum, who once coached the tradition-rich Cologne club, explains why working as a football manager sometimes feels like being an electrician. Ex-striker Toni Polster reveals who he would love to meet, while former Schalke 04 and 1. FC Köln manager Peter Neururer speaks about a drug he is addicted to: the Football Bundesliga. Many photographs and entertaining anecdotes turn this book into the perfect present for die-hard Kölle fans.

Ben Redelings’ FC-Album
By Ben Redelings
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Rapid ready for Ried

Rapid Vienna are determined to secure three points as the Football Bundesliga comes out of hibernation.1

The Green-Whites are optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) match against SV Ried as the Upper Austrian team still have not managed to beat Rapid in a Bundesliga away game. The home team – who got in shape for the second half of the season in Turkey – celebrated several friendly match victories in the past few weeks, most recently last Sunday against SK Dynamo Ceske Budejovice (2-0).

SK Rapid – currently in fourth in the 10-team Austrian Bundesliga – turned out to be real gentlemen as they recently revealed their special offer for the match against Ried. All women who get a ticket before reservation desks and ticket offices close today won’t have to pay for it.

The match will take place at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna-Leopoldstadt. Only a few days ago, Austrian President Heinz Fischer carried out the first cut of the spade where Rapid’s new Allianz Stadium will be located in western Vienna. The Green-Whites want to play their home matches there from summer 2016 – and Fischer disclosed he will attend the first Allianz Stadium home match.

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Bleisteiner & Buschmann

Feeling at home. Does everybody know this emotion? Is home a universal subject and feeling? Or is it a totally individual sentiment? What does the term even mean in a SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAglobalised, fast-paced world of 24-7 infotainment? “Homeland” by Annegret Bleisteiner deals with this topic. The publication offers an overview on the different approaches of the artist. In many installations, video and photo projects, Bleisteiner investigated the topic in different ways. She recorded video material in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Istanbul to display the various living conditions of natives and migrants. Other artworks are influenced by strongly contrary events such as a royal wedding and the nuclear disaster of Fukushima. Texts in German and English by Anna Wondrak, Cornelia Osswald-Hoffmann, Daniela Stöppel and Matthias von Tesmar help to understand the working methods of Bleisteiner. The Passau-born artist’s oeuvre has already been on display in Paris, Glasgow and other cities. “Homeland” is just one of many exciting art and photo releases by Kehrer Verlag. The publishing house recently also presented “Sylt. Meine Insel”, a picture book featuring fantastic black and white photographs taken by Bleicke Bleicken on Sylt island. The book includes essays by historian Christoph Stölzl and literature critic Fritz J. Raddatz. “Kodak City” is the brutally honest photographic portrait of Rochester, New York, by Catherine Leutenegger, an award-winning photographer from Switzerland.

By Annegret Bleisteiner
Published by Kehrer Verlag (www.kehrerverlag.com)

After commentating basketball and football matches for many years, Frank Buschmann (DSF, Sport 1, Kabel 1) has decided to look back for a first reflection. In his book “Am Ende SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAkackt die Ente. Aus dem Leben eines Sportverrückten”, the popular sports expert speaks about memorable tournaments and league matches. Buschmann, a former basketball player, reveals what it feels like to meet legends like Michael Jordan – and why he backed the campaign of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Am Ende kackt die Ente. Aus dem Leben eines Sportverrückten
By Frank Buschmann
Published by Edel (www.edel.com)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: adventures & Amir al-Amin

Travelling around the world by bike for several months – this was a young Austrian couple’s extraordinary idea how best to spend their honeymoon. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAKlara-Prinz Prüller and Florian Prüller visited several countries in different continents, from Iceland to the United States. They encountered kind people but also wild animals. After having shared their experiences on a blog, the pair has now released a book. “Als der Bär am Zelt anklopfte” is packed with funny anecdotes but also fantastic photographs documenting the immense physical challenges the newlyweds endured due to rough weather and tough routes. The positive aspects have easily made up the hard times as they cycled through breathtakingly beautiful areas.

Als der Bär am Zelt anklopfte
By Florian Prüller and Klara-Prinz Prüller
Published by Tyrolia (www.tyrolia.at)

Emigrating from Africa to Europe is difficult. Becoming a respected member of society and the local community in a conservative province is impressive. Amir al-Amin came to Austria in imam
1990. He has lived in Klagenfurt since almost 15 years now. In his book “Der Imam auf der Parkgarage”, Al-Amin – who has been portrayed by weekly magazine profil and other renowned publications – recounts his personal story: the rough path to recognition in southern Austria – from leaving Sudan to becoming a teacher and imam in Carinthia.

Der Imam auf der Parkgarage
By Amir al-Amin
Published by Galila (www.galila.at)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Pluspunkt Deutsch and punk rock

A German publishing house’s textbook has taken a leading role in language-learning in Austria. Cornelsen’s “Pluspunkt Deutsch – Österreich” for learners on SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAA1 level covers all relevant topics as far as communication and grammar structures are regarded. The Arbeitsbuch and Kursbuch by Friederike Jin & Joachim Schote feature 14 topics to explain vocabulary like furniture, hobbies and food. Both releases also include many basic grammar exercises. The two CDs contain lots of dialogues (shopping, arranging an appointment on the phone etc.) but also pronunciation examples. Thanks to the solution book which is part of the package, “Pluspunkt Deutsch – Österreich” is suitable not only for language institute courses but also for everybody learning at home and aiming at passing the ÖSD exam or the ÖIF equivalent.

Pluspunkt Deutsch – Österreich. Deutsch als Fremdsprache A1
By Friederike Jin & Joachim Schote
Published by Cornelsen (www.cornelsen.de)

From punk nerds wearing flea market pants to cover boys. From rebellion to pure mainstream? Founded in 1982, Die Toten Hosen are still recording and touring. Now a young SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERADer Spiegel journalist presents his band biography. Philipp Oehmke accompanied the five-member hitmakers from Dusseldorf on the road. He conducted long interviews not just with the band but also friends and rivals. Oehmke has stayed in touch with singer Campino after portraying him for Der Spiegel, a leading German magazine, in 2008. Speaking on TV channel ZDF, the band’s outspoken front man admitted immense scepticism towards the project when he was first confronted with the idea of a comprehensive book. “Die Toten Hosen. Am Anfang war der Lärm” – which features several photographs – not only reflects the band’s successful recent past. Campino, Andi, Vom, Kuddel and Breiti also speak about their childhood and the early punk rock period. Considering the band’s hunger for being on stage and touring across Europe but also South America, this book is not the final chapter of a remarkable part of German music history. It is probably just a stopover.

Die Toten Hosen. Am Anfang war der Lärm
By Philipp Oehmke
Published by Rowohlt (www.rowohlt.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Mammoth mania at the museum

A new special exhibition is drawing the crowds as the Museum of Natural History Vienna turned 125.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

The tradition-rich institution, which features 39 showrooms today, currently presents a highly informative exhibit about the history of mammoths which went extinct 4,000 years ago. Several of the subjects on display are provided on loan by the Zoological Museum Saint Petersburg.

A wolverine, remains of a baby mammoth and other outstanding items turn “Mammuts. Eismumien aus Sibirien” (Mammoths. Ice Mummies from Siberia) into a must see for young and old. The exhibit does not just SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAfeature skeletons and bones. Paintings and animated features broaden the offer of the museum’s current highlight.

For information regarding opening times, ticket prices, guided tours and special events, visit http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas