BILBAO, SPAIN. The architecture of the building makes a visit to it, and Bilbao, necessary in its own right. The building, with the combination of its large sculptures outside and modern exhibits inside, make this museum truly unique in the world, and this is why it’s famous.
The building was designed by Frank Gehry, an American-Canadian architect, and was inaugurated in 1997. The building has a deconstructivist style, and was designed to have curves that appear random but which actually catch light for the atrium in the middle. It is part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which also has museums in New York City, Venice, and Abu Dhabi.
When I visited last, I saw the Yoko Ono, Half-A-Wind Show, which is a retrospective exhibition. The exhibit was complied to commemorate Ono’s 80th birthday. It is on display on the top floor of the museum from March 14th to September 1st 2014. It includes some 200 multidisciplinary works by Ono, such as sculptures, poetry, films, performances, paintings, and descriptions of her performance art. The exhibit is thought provoking and funny, with simple instructions from the artist inciting deep thought from the viewer.
I also saw the exhibit titled The Body that Carries Me by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. The exhibit is composed of large sculptures made to be interacted with. Some you climb, others you enter, and several you smell. Each piece creates an environment that makes you feel like you are in a different world, with intricate, flowing skins and bright colors usually creating these surreal environments. One piece, That Life, is a hand-crocheted sculpture hanging from the ceiling, that people can enter and climb through. Another piece, Barter Barter, allows you to take an article from a pile on the floor and replace it with your own, allowing us to trade based on our own valuing of justice and equality instead of money. This exhibit will be on display from February 14th to May 18th 2014.
A permanent exhibit by artist Richard Serra called The Matter of Time takes up a large wing of the museum. The room contains eight large sculptures of steel ellipses, in which people can enter and explore. The sculptures sometimes made me dizzy and confused, because of the varied corridors created and the ease of feeling lost. These pieces achieve their intended purpose of making the viewer experience real, perceptual based emotions.
Other items in its permanent gallery include works by Williem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons (two sculptures outside the museum, including the famous Puppy made of flowers), and Clyfford Still.
After, be sure to check out the Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao, which features both classical and contemporary art. This museum contains the work of masters like Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco.
The museum costs 13,00 euros for adults, and 7,50 euros for students under 26. Audio devices are available in all languages. A café, bookstore, and restaurant are also located inside.
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Av Abandoibarra, 2
Tel. (+34) 944 359 080
Hours: Tue to Sun 10:00 am – 8:00 pm