Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

It was a beautiful day driving into Bilbao from San Sebastian.  An easy drive, about an hour and ten minutes and not complicated at all to get to our hotel,  The Silken Gran Domine Bilbao.  We crossed over the Nervion River, through the red sculpture on the bridge into Bilbao, turned right at Alameda Mazarredo and there we were, right at the hotel.  This shot was taken from our hotel room on the fifth floor overlooking the Guggenheim Museum. 
I particularly like the water surrounding parts of the museum with the reflections of the building itself and the bridge.
Another view from our hotel room.  The two buildings on the left are new since we were last here.
Puppy, created by Jeff Koons, is a 36 foot high sculpture of a West Highland terrier topiary covered in bedding plants.
The building itself is what attracts the crowds, not so much the special exhibitions.  On exhibition now are works by Jeff Koons and Jean-Michael Basquiat, featured on the second and third floors.  Not much to my liking. 
Designed by architect, Frank Gehry, the museum opened in the fall of 1997.  It was a rare feat, for it was constructed on time and on budget.  Covered in glass, titanium and limestone, the building's curves seem to be almost random.
Being an organized traveler, I had bought our tickets on line prior to leaving the states.  There is Len, with the hat on, walking down the stairs to the entrance, bypassing the long line of people on the right waiting to buy tickets.
Leaving the museum and on out way to a super lunch at Porrue.
Even though I am not a fan of spiders, I do like the giant spider, Maman, that stands over thirty feet tall by French-American artist and sculptor, Louse Bourgeois.  1999.  Maman is in the perfect spot between the museum and the river.
 Looking up on the main floor inside the museum.
What I do like is the permanent exhibition of the series of eight weathered steel sculptures designed by American sculptor, Richard Serra.
A curving path, titled Snake, is made of a three sinuous steel sheets.  It is rather intimidating walking the whole length of the Snake.

 If you are prone to claustrophobia, I certainly do not recommend going into them.
You can really get an idea of the massive scale these sculptures are.  The sculptures vary in height from 12 to 14 feet tall and weigh 44 to 276 tons!
Len and I started our trip by flying to Barcelona through Toronto, Canada and to our surprise there was a Richard Serra sculpture, titled "Tilted Spheres", in terminal one in the Toronto airport!  By the way, it had a great echo!  What a way to start our trip.


  1. Actually the Serra exhibit is "temporary". Only there for 25 years!!

  2. It's not going anywhere. They would have to tear down the building to take it out.