Paradise City

The majestic beauty of Venice is celebrated with a fantastic selection of paintings in a book and an exhibit.

“Venedig. Stadt der Künstler” drew the crowds at Hamburg’s Bucerius Kunst Forum with its magnificent range of masterpieces by Canaletto, William Turner, Jacopo Tintoretto and many others. The book of the same name features painstaking portraits of the city’s movers and shakers, idealising depictions of its busy squares but also early photographs.

The special appeal of “Venedig. Stadt der Künstler” lies in the interplay of outstanding art and comprehensive background information on the history of the picturesquely situated city which has always been a buzzing hive of activity – from merchants in the old days to the hoards of holidaymakers of today.

Venedig. Stadt der Künstler
By Ines Richter-Musso & Kathrin Baumstark
Published by Hirmer (

The Leibovitz legacy

The early work of Annie Leibovitz has been released to celebrate the first steps of this outstanding artist.

“The early years. 1970-1983” is packed with exciting portray shots of famed American actors, musicians and authors. However, this excellent collection of mostly black and white shots also includes intense insights of the action behind the scenes which powerfully demonstrate the straightforwardness of Leibovitz. She went on tour with the Rolling Stones and Patti Smith as well as on the 1972 presidential campaign trail to take pictures which underline her unmatched talent.

Muhammad Ali, Tom Wolfe, Bruce Springsteen and Tommy Lee Jones are just some of the big names who have been caught on camera by this ingenious photographer.

“The early years. 1970-1983” follows the release of “The Beautiful Game. Fußball in den 1970ern”, an excellent photo book paying tribute to the attitude of footballers in the 1970s when players’ appearance was rebellious but stylish. Late Ajax ace Johan Cruyff, Bayern goal machine Gerd Müller and Manchester United troublemaker George Best are depicted on and off the pitch.

The early years. 1970-1983
By Annie Leibovitz
Published by Taschen (

Rapid take on Admira as Arnautovic beats keeper in poll

Damage limitation has utmost priority at Rapid as the Bundesliga playoff starts this weekend.

The Green-Whites face Lower Austrian club Admira on Saturday (Allianz Stadion, 5pm). Rapid supporters were seething with anger after the team’s most recent home fixture. Things had looked reasonably promising after Dietmar Kühbauer’s squad achieved an early 2-0 lead. However, Rapid once more lost the plot. Ex-Brescia midfielder Markus Schopp’s Hartberg managed to equalise and pick up a point after having been thrown out of the ÖFB Cup by Rapid just a few weeks earlier.

Rapid urgently have to secure reconciliation with their fans in the profound knowledge of the serious situation the club is in after having failed to qualify for the championship playoff. Supporters had hoped that Kühbauer – a cult hero of the club’s legendary 1990s squad – would have an impactful return to the club he loved so much. However, the atmosphere in Hütteldorf is explosive after several vacuous performances with only a handful of uplifting exceptions such as a convincing victory over Red Bull Salzburg.

Rapid beat second league side Wiener Neustadt 3-0 in a test match last Friday. Midfielder Thomas Murg, striker Deni Alar and winger Philipp Schobesberger found the net. SV Güssing officials recently revealed that the Green-Whites will come to the town in southern Burgenland for a friendly on 6th September.

Meanwhile, Rapid vice captain Richard Strebinger came second in a prestigious soccer poll. Kronen Zeitung readers have been asked to select their player of the season. West Ham star Marko Arnautovic won the competition, with the former Werder Bremen goalkeeper in second and Markus Kuster (Mattersburg) in third. Arnautovic bagged more than 133,000 votes, while over 129,000 readers opted for Strebinger. Kuster had the support of fewer than 61,000 readers of the newspaper who participated in the vote.



Nuclear nightmares

An award-winning journalist has investigated the 1945 Nagasaki nuclear bomb assault to determine the incident’s impact on society and diplomacy.

Widely considered as an inevitable measure to ensure Japanese surrender, the Nagasaki attack was carried out just three days after the nuclear detonation at Hiroshima. In “Nagasaki. Der Mythos der entscheidenden Bombe”, Adolf Grimme Prize laureate Klaus Scherer portrays apologists and survivors.

His book is a captivating experience as it debunks popular misconception. Scherer – who previously worked as foreign correspondent for German broadcaster ARD in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo for many years – scored a bestseller a few years ago with “Wahnsinn Amerika”, an intense insight into the manifold aspects of life in the United States of today.

Nagasaki. Der Mythos der entscheidenden Bombe
By Klaus Scherer
Published by Hanser (

How to ruin a football club in five easy steps

Hamburger SV bosses splashed out more than 200 million Euros on 71 new players between 2009 and last season when the club was relegated for the first time since the German Bundesliga was founded in 1963.

Now a tactics expert and a journalist reputed to be one of the most renowned experts on the tradition-rich team have examined where it all went wrong. “Der Abstieg. Wie Funktionäre einen Verein ruinieren” tells from megalomaniac officials, terrible picks on the transfer market and supporters appalled by horrific performances.

Fifteen managers and five CEOs came and went in the period Tobias Escher, the author of acclaimed soccer strategy books like “Die Zeit der Strategen”, and journalist Daniel Jovanov have focused on. Their book is an utterly compelling read thanks to the magnificent insights into the engine room of a club which used to be one of the biggest brands in European football.

It has to be seen whether those in charge at the club have learned their lesson. Now, as it seems that HSV has the potential to achieve immediate return into top-flight football, fans are breathing a shaky sigh of relief, hoping that the days of badly disorientated managers and wannabe may never return.

Der Abstieg
By Tobias Escher & Daniel Jovanov
Published by rororo / Rowohlt (

The Attersee aftermath

The bewilderingly wide spectrum of an artist who has never shied away from any kind of controversy is currently on display in Vienna.

“Attersee Feuerstelle” – now on at Belvedere 21 – focuses on the first 20 years of working as a painter, singer and sculptor of Christian Ludwig Attersee. Born in Slovakia in 1940, Attersee has been considered as one of the shrewdest artists of his generation.

Throughout the decades, Attersee has not just created large-scale oil on canvas paintings and prints. Having also excelled in photo and video art, his commercial endeavours such as designing foodstuff labels irritated numerous critics. But rest assured, public outcry never held Attersee back from entering uncharted territory.

Considering the overawing array of techniques and stylistic directions, “Attersee Feuerstelle” makes it difficult to think straight. But the oeuvre of Austrian art’s jack of all trades who is still bursting with creativity deserves recognition.


Thinking outside the box

It was all doom and gloom for German football at the millennium. Fans were drowning in despair as the national team embarrassed themselves not only at the 1998 World Cup but also at the Euro 2000. Association executives eventually gave the green light to a set of reforms.

This urgently needed transformation gave new meaning and purpose to a footballer-turned-barkeeper who had to retire aged 24 due to substantial knee issues. Thomas Tuchel worked his way up as youth manager and academy director in Stuttgart, Augsburg and Mainz. His scientific approach to the game resulted in victories against teams with much bigger budgets and still inspires devotion in the current PSG coach.

Tuchel’s path into the highest echelons of European football is just one of the many astonishing stories that can be found in a new book. In “Die Zeit der Strategen. Wie Guardiola, Löw, Mourinho und Co. den Fußball neu denken”, Tobias Escher examines Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s concepts and the energising performances of Borussia Dortmund during the golden Jürgen Klopp era.

The tactics expert helps understanding the various strategies – from Pep Guardiola’s possession-based, proactive agenda to Jose Mourinho’s passion for counterattacks. Escher looks back on the turning points in the careers of Marcelo Bielsa, Julian Nagelsmann and the other nine coaches featured in this book.

Peter Bosz and Joachim Löw had low-key playing careers but they made a name for themselves as managers. Antonio Conte, however, went from playing alongside ingenious midfielders like Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro del Piero to turning an average Juventus squad into an invincible Serie A powerhouse which even smashed the Italian league’s 100-point season record.

“Die Zeit der Strategen” explains why possession is just a tool for Guardiola. The Manchester City manager – who loves hogging the ball to starve the opposition of opportunity – is the legitimate heir to Johan Cruyff. As Barcelona coach, the late Dutch legend invented a 18-zone theory while Guardiola works with a 20-zone concept, as the book reveals. Escher analyses how Guardiola’s teams have been finding the greatest possible depth to free an attacker.

With “Die Zeit der Strategen”, Escher has once more excelled in deciphering the most complex tactics. The numerous anecdotes about the different managers turn this book into an enthralling read.

Die Zeit der Strategen
By Tobias Escher
Published by rororo / Rowohlt (

Do or die for Rapid

It is make or break for Rapid as the team attempt to reach the championship playoff.

The Green-Whites had a convincing start into the second half of the Bundesliga season as they managed to beat Red Bull Salzburg for the first time in five years. One week later, the team of former Wolfsburg midfielder Dietmar Kühbauer disbursed a walloping in St. Pölten (4-0). But last Sunday Rapid tottered in Burgenland as Mattersburg celebrated an unexpected 2-1 victory.

Now the side captained by Stefan Schwab are forced to beat Hartberg at the Allianz Stadion (Sunday, 5pm). However, Rapid – who have been well off the pace in the Bundesliga for the better part of the season – are depending on the results of some other matches taking place simultaneously. Having so far gathered just 26 points, Rapid are currently in seventh, while only the top six will battle it out. With participation in an international competition the explicit target, considerable pressure has been heaved on the squad by club officials.

Rapid’s major rivals when it comes to reaching the championship playoff are fifth-placed Wolfsberger AC (29 points), Sturm Graz (28) in sixth and Mattersburg (26) who are currently in eighth.



Not drawing the line at Dürer

Albrecht Dürer’s achievements are revered around the globe but the critical confrontation with his oeuvre is anything but finished. Klaus-Rüdiger Mai’s biography eventually fills this gap.

“Dürer. Das Universalgenie der Deutschen” is a carefully drafted portrait of the German Renaissance’s figurehead. Dürer was not only one of the most outstanding painters of his era. Born in Nuremberg in 1471, his brain was putting together facts and clues in a way many could never understand.

Intrigued by astrology and mathematics, Dürer also revolutionised copperplate and wood engravings. In this way, he extended his artistic spectrum in spectacular fashion. But his portraits are undoubtedly still the most celebrated part of his portfolio.

Written with enthusiasm and extensive expert knowledge, Mai delivers a brilliant assessment of a terrific artist and the era he lived his.

Dürer. Das Universalgenie der Deutschen
By Klaus-Rüdiger Mai
Published by Propyläen (