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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (review)

Guggenheim Bilbao w/ Jeff Koons Flower Dog

The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum
Bilbao, Spain

       It's funny, if you had asked me before today how many "Museum Reviews" I've written on this blog I would probably have said 20-30 but it's more like 5- and not because I haven't been to plenty of Museums, but because I haven't written reviews about those Museums.  But I think Museums, particularly Museums about Art and History, play an important part on how we think about Art- they represent a kind of focused energy about an Artistic discipline OR Geographical place, more so then say does an LP by an indie band.

     Since opening in 1997, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum has been what you call a "home run" in the Arena of government funded Art projects (GUGGENHEIM BILBAO MUSEUM WIKI)  I, for one, ended up there almost entirely because of the Museum.  Sure, maybe I would have gone to Bilbao without the presence of The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (like I went to Barcelona. San Sebastian, Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba at different times, even though they don't have a Gugginheim Museums), but honestly I kind of doubt it.

    The presence of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum within Bilbao reminded me of a visit I paid to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States, a few years back.  In Cincinnati, they have the Zaha Hadid designed Contemporary Art Center.  The Guggenheim in Bilbao is like that on an order of several magnitudes.

Guggenheim Bilbao- Richard Serra Sculptures

   The main attraction at the Museum, other then the building itself which is designed by Frank Gehry, is the Richard Serra installation- several dozen tons of labyrinth style steel mazes, brought to you by a multi-national Steel corporation.   The major rotating exhibit was David Hockney paints the area near his house (in landscapes) which uh... had a lot of paintings in it, let's put it that way.

Frank Gehry, just chilling out.

  Bilbao itself has mid tier European city charm- certainly enough "old town tapas" style dining action to keep you busy at night. The Museum has a one star Michelin restaurant at the back.

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