Box-Seat

Guggenheim Bilbao

Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to visit Spain’s Guggenheim Bilbao. Perhaps it’s on your hole in the bucket list for a travel-friendly future. In the meantime, there is much to see of the museum online.

The Bilbao had an instant, enormous impact when it was officially opened by King Juan Carlos I of Spain on October 18, 1997. Now, more than 20 years later, the titanium-clad Guggenheim Bilbao still looks brilliantly innovative. The museum was designed by renowned, you-name-the-award-winning architect, Frank Gehry, who was born 1929 in Toronto and now lives in Los Angeles. Construction took place between October of 1993 to the opening in 1997.

33,000 wafer-thin titanium sheets skin this 24,000 square metre museum which boasts 9,000 square metres of exhibition space. “The impulse,” says Gehry, “was to make a building out of all one material, so it was a three dimensional piece.”

Gehry and his team started with stainless steel museum mock-ups but, no matter how they tried to manipulate it, the steel ‘went dead’, emotionless, on cloudy, rainy days. Gehry just happened to find a piece of titanium in his workshop. “I pinned it on a telephone pole outside of my office. It rained that day and I looked at the titanium and it turned golden, like it does here. I thought: ‘My God. That’s so beautiful.”

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El Museo Guggenheim Bilbao – with its undersea curves, distant ceilings, glass curtains, and streaks of sunlight – features a spectacular Atrium that fans out into twenty galleries.

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The museum hosts an ongoing schedule of interesting exhibits and a permanent collection that includes Jean-Michel Basquiat, Eduardo Chillida, Jenny Holzer, Anselm Kiefer, Willem de Kooning, Jorge Oteiza, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerard Richter, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly… Particularly memorable is Jeff Koons’ Puppy, installed outside Guggenheim Bilbao.

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Google Arts + Culture has done an extensive exploration of Guggenheim Bilbao which includes an up-close analysis of some of the works inside. You can also watch ‘Bending Gravity at the Guggenheim Museum’, a short film in which photographer Trashhand follows free-runner Johan Tonnoir through unlikely flips and long-distance leaps in and on the museum.

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https://artsandculture.google.com/project/guggenheim-bilbao

https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en

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www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Courtesy of Bilbao Guggenheim

 

 

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