Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao), Bilbao (must see)
Five days before the opening, ETA militants shot police officer Jose Mara Aguirre Larraona. Officer Aguirre helped to foil a grenade attack on the museum. He died. The square in front of the museum is now Aguirre Square. The museum represents a victory for Bilbao.
The Guggenheim Foundation chose the Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry for the design. Thomas Krens, museum director, urged Gehry to come up with something "daring." The result was hailed as a "Deconstructivist" masterpiece. Art critic Calvin Tomkins from The New Yorker called the museum "a fantastic dream ship of undulating form in a cloak of titanium."
Gehry has said the curved, randomly shaped steel walls are meant to "catch the light." The interior is laid out around a vast well-lighted rose-shaped atrium. All things in the museum are arranged around the atrium. The resonance of the building's design with a great ship stranded on the shores of Bilbao is not random.
The museum unwraps its forms of stone, glass, and metal on a 350,000-square-foot site by the Nervion River. It is in the old industrial core of the city. It has 120,000 square feet of space dedicated to exhibitions. The exhibition spaces are in 19 galleries. Ten are traditional and finished in stone. Nine are clad in swirling titanium.
The museum houses "large-scale non-specific works by contemporary artists." This group of artists includes Richard Serra, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Francesco Clemente, Anselm Kiefer, and Jenny Holzer.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bilbao. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao) on Map
Walking Tours in Bilbao, Spain
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