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Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Among the major museums specializing specifically in modern trends is the well known Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which is located in the Spanish province of Biscayne. Examination of the exhibits arouses surprise, admiration, abrupt rejection, thoughtfulness, but not indifference. Artists tend to see everyday life through the prism of their talent, and they generously share it with others. Tours through the halls of the museum introduce different styles and currents, offering visitors to plunge into the wonderful world of a new vision of reality.

The Guggenheim Museum – the world of modern art

A unique creation of modern architecture sets visitors up with a special perception of what is happening on the approach to the museum. Its construction is so out of sync with the surrounding reality that it seems like a fragment of another universe. The unusual sculptures and installations in the surrounding area add to the impression, and the bridge piercing the building adds to the unreality of what is happening.

Museum architecture

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is considered a branch of the New York museum, also made in the unusual manner of rounded shapes and violation of the classical canons of architecture. In total, there are 8 such exhibition complexes in different countries. Modern materials and construction technologies allowed to implement all the ideas of architect Frank Gehry, the view from the outside and the interiors inside the museum amaze imagination with unusual forms, echoing the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi, who worked in a similar style. The exterior planes of the museum are covered with titanium plates connected to sandstone and glass fragment details.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Many planes curved at unimaginable angles intertwine with each other, creating surreal forms.

The building is considered an example of destructivism.

It resembles something between an alien ship and a fantastic flower. The riot of architectural fantasy literally draws the eye in search of a single smooth line or the usual curve. The structure is reflected in the water of the bay, giving rise to bizarre reflections and distortions, adding even more mystery to the architect’s design. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is divided into 3 levels, with a spiral staircase leading from the first floor through a series of rooms, the permanent collection of exhibits is at the top.

History of Creation

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao - the architecture inside

The complex opened in 1997. Many cities around the world offered their territories for construction, but Bilbao was chosen because the municipality agreed to all the requirements of the organizers of the construction without any restrictions. Before the museum was built, there were almost no tourist sites in the city.

The historic center was severely damaged during the war, the old buildings were destroyed. The authorities did not rebuild the ruins, but took a different route. The city was gradually transformed, adorned with Art Nouveau buildings and parks. In order to increase revenues from the tourism business, it was necessary to create several unique sites where visitors would tend to go. Coincidentally, the Guggenheim Foundation was just looking for space for a new branch of the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Bilbao - Guggenheim Museum

The appearance of the new museum in the city very quickly changed the life of Bilbao, it attracted bohemians and fans of contemporary art. Curiosity brings several hundred thousand visitors to the walls of the museum each year.

Solomon Guggenheim spent most of his life collecting classical works of art, and after the age of 60 he became fascinated by modern movements, having become acquainted with the work of Hilla von Rebay.

Interesting facts about the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao inside

The Guggenheim Foundation has opened several branches dedicated to contemporary art. Each of them has an individuality and a well-recognizable image. Distinguishing features of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao:

  • is among the most popular attractions in Spain;
  • The museum was designed by Fujiku Nakaya and is regularly surrounded by dense fog, to be replaced in the evenings by flashes of bright light;
  • The interior rooms served as the setting for some scenes of “Bondiana;
  • Of the 24,000 square meters of space almost 10,000 are used for exhibitions, 19 halls are permanent and temporary exhibitions;
  • The museum regularly hosts exhibitions of young talents and presentations of new trends in contemporary art.

The core of the exhibition consists of works from the 20th-21st centuries, including paintings by Malevich, Kandinsky, Russolo, Jorge Oteis, Juan Muñoz, and Gerhard Richter.

3 masterpieces from the collection

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao - exhibits

Most of the exhibits are avant-garde works, installations, electronic works, and abstractions. A few of them are always of great interest.

  1. “The Essence of Time” by Richard Seri is housed in a separate room. The strangely twisted sheets of weatherproof steel, creating bizarre corridors, express the author’s attitude toward the variability of time limits.
  2. Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe diptych began a week after the TV star’s suicide, using silkscreen printing, for which critics wrote many unflattering reviews. Time has put everything in its place. The critics have long been forgotten, and tour groups are still reaching for the masterpiece.
  3. Warhol’s “Shadows” series consists of 102 canvases. On them with a sponge with paint applied images of silhouettes of real objects.

Guggenheim Museum schedule

Opening hours and address of the Guggenheim Museum in BilbaoExhibition halls work 6 days a week from 10.00 to 20.00, Monday is the day off. When planning a visit on holidays, be sure to find out if the museum is open. For example, on January 1 he will definitely have a day off. During the peak tourist season, from June to August, the museum is open daily.

The cost of tickets to visit the exhibition halls depends on the exposition, time of visit, ongoing promotions. On average, admission to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao for an adult costs 16 euros, students – 9, children under 12 years visit the museum for free.

Guggenheim Museum map and address (interactive map)

Prices for contemporary art

Masterpieces of the modern masters are quite highly valued in certain circles. Produced a furor at an auction, at which a painting of Briton David Hockney, who recently turned 81 years old, sold for the sum of 90.3 million. $. “Pool with Two Figures” continues the artist’s series of well-recognized works. He was particularly good at contrasting the bright sun and the deep blue of the water against a backdrop of rich greenery. The painting “Swimming Pool with Two Figures” made the artist the most expensive in history.

Art objects on the ground in front of the museum

The wonders of perception for the visitor begin as soon as he sees from afar the building of the exhibition complex itself, and then only grow in intensity. The sculpture of a small terrier puppy of considerable size, which appeared thanks to the artist Koons’ invention, makes a touching impression. Charming little boy, made of fresh flowers, looking at visitors from 13 meters high.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain) - escapes from the outsidePeople with spider phobia are not advised to go any further. They are unlikely to be enthralled by the amazingly realistic sculpture of a 10-meter-long spider with transparent eggs in a basket by Louise Bourgeois. Better to head in the other direction and admire the unusual construction of rising shiny spheres resembling air bubbles, created by Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain - escapes from the outside

Video tour of the Guggenheim Museum

The extraordinary experience of visiting such a sight in Bilbao will be remembered for a long time. Watch a short video about a visit to this architectural creation.

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