Well – if we read reports of the summer having ended before it began in the UK with the dullest August for some years, we enjoyed the extreme heat of 36 degrees in Bilbao the day we visited the Guggenheim! That was on 31st August, when we walked and took the subway to travel the 14 km from the marina to the city centre. By the time we were in the shadow of the Museum we definitely needed midday tapas, sitting in the shade at one of the many bars in the vicinity.
To greet us at the entrance was the huge floral bear consisting of thousands of multi-coloured busy-lizzy plants which surprisingly don’t wilt in the hot climate – they must benefit from some sophisticated watering system.
The building itself is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture – designed by Frank Gehry and clad in titanium, it was built in glass and stone at a site on the banks of the Rio de Bilbao. It offers perspectives on modern art and we were able to view a permanent installation by Richard Serra, a retrospective exhibition of the Spanish artist Juan Munoz consisting mostly of his sculptures and a temporary exhibition called ‘Surreal Things’ including Salvador Dali’s Mae West Lips Sofa and Lobster Telephone. No photography is allowed inside the Museum, so here are a couple of shots of the exterior.
Jeff Koon’s tulip arrangement below: