Wednesday 22 July 2015

Bilbao Guggenheim

In Bilbao this extraordinary sight greets you

It's Jeff Koons' Puppy, guarding the Guggenheim - a gargantuan West Highland terrier covered with flowering plants growing in soil - about 40 000 of them. 
(If you're wondering, as I did, how this living flowering structure is maintained, read here and discover what's inside el corazon de puppy!)

While Puppy almost dwarfs the museum itself, inside the Gugs, Richard Serra's installation A Matter of Time fills the largest gallery space, consisting of huge, curved maze-like structures to get lost in.

If the exterior of Gehry's building is extraordinary, the interiors are no less striking

but is it functional as a space for art? Very much like Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton (I posted about it here), there's masses of vast, unused space and volume which limits the capacity for exhibiting (curved walls are not really practical either!)

More interesting perhaps are the permanent art installations outside the building, on the river, where French artist Daniel Buren's Arcos Rojos stand out on the La Salve bridge

Niki de Saint Phalle's The Three Graces dance joyfully, reflected against giant windows 

Anish Kapoor's shiny Silver Balls, blend with the wavy, shimmering silver exterior

and Jeff Koons' Tulips lie scattered above the river, bringing to mind children's birthday parties

My favourite was Louise Bourgeois' giant spider cradling a sac of eggs, sweetly called Maman

On this June summer Sunday the museum spaces inside and out were getting good use from locals and tourists 

chilling under umbrellas and cooling down in the fountains.

Another fabulous Basque city.

Bilbao, Spain June 2015
More Day 2, Iberian road trip

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