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For the holiday season we are often thinking about exotic places to visit. Thailand, Japan, United Arab Emirates could be amazing destinations, but Europe has a lot to offer when it comes to art destinations. 

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The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is the epitome of contemporary art in general. The "Guggenheim effect" has become a new, widely-used expression in recent times. The team that the museum is building up is made by artists, intellectuals, architects and thinkers from all over the world and eras. Starting from the architect who built it in 1997, the archistar Frank O. Gehry, to – just to quote some – other artists that were called to develop permanent pieces of art such as installations and sculptures, both inside and outside the building. Bilbao indeed has a strong an interesting public art scene thanks to the Guggenheim: people can walk day and night around the beautiful and touching works by Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Yves Klein, Jesus Rafael Soto. 

 

     

From left to right Jeff Koons Tulips and Puppy.

The giant “Flower Puppy” by American artist Koons was made for the museum’s opening and it still represents an icon for the city with those fragrant flowers that are been changing every week. Another sculpture by Koons is installed outside, reflecting itself all day and night long into the water, this is the famous piece “Tulips” together with Anish Kapoor’s “Tall tree & the eye”, where people love to make selfies in front of its big mirroring spheres. Then, on the path, you can reach out “Mother” by Bourgeois. Once you are right inside those long spider legs, you feel both protected than a little bit scared. Beautiful sensation. But also the feelings inside the museum are very special and in-keep changing: the great room fulfilled with Richard Serra installations, for instance, is a real paradise. Read more about Landscape Art...

 

Guggenheim Bilbao, Richard Serra Installation.

 

At least few words have to be written for this special room, that the Canadian architect designed specifically thinking about Serra’s works of art in relationship to materials, space and the loss of perspective that the audience feel while walking inside the installations. The Museum hosts also temporary exhibitions. One of the most complete was by Jenny Holzer in 2019 – the artist donated three pieces to the Museum that are included in the permanent collection. The new year 2020 opened up with special projects from very different artists by generations and approach towards art. Jesus Rafael Soto, Jesse Jones and Thomas Struth. So: installation from the 50s for Soto, a surreal and dense sort of cavern for Jesse James videos and sculpture, and a big retrospective by Struth, with his brilliant photos divided by periods and themes. To show something that represents Art history too, the Guggenheim decided to host a small bur rare exhibition about French and German art from the nineteenth to the first half of the twentieth century. The titled is Masterpieces of the Kunsthalle Bremen: From Delacroix to Beckmann and tells the history of a German collection and its pioneering engagement with and support of modern art. Bilbao then represents a symbolic venue for cultural exchange and emotions. 

Cover image: Guggenheim Bilbao, Frank O. Gehry.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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