Friday 28 July 2019

If I had a bucket list, visiting the Guggenheim in Bilbao would have been on it. In planning this trip, it was a major landmark to hit, partial as I am to contemporary art. Unfortunately, I expected far more than the gallery delivered; the collection and temporary exhibitions were, with some exceptions, dull to the point of exasperation.

The building is beautiful.

It looks like it has flowed from another dimension,

where normal rules don’t apply. The atrium twists and turns.

Huge exhibition spaces extend over three floors. Sadly, they contain little as exciting as the building. There were some good pieces but too much was dull, dull, dull.

I started to explain why but gave up. Frankly, I can’t be arsed. You don’t want to read it, I don’t want to write it. I’d simply advise anyone visiting the Guggenheim to check what’s on before going in. Otherwise just enjoy what’s outside, such as,

Jeff Koons’ Puppy.

Louise Bourgeois Maman,

with her marble eggs.

Or Anish Kapoor’s silver balls.

Or this.

The Guggenheim was an inspired initiative to revitalise Bilbao, quickly recovering its cost as well as pump priming other developments. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Bilbao.

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