Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bilbao and the Guggenheim

In the Basque language, spelled Bilbo

We arrived Monday evening after a somewhat eventful drive, struggling with our Tomtom navigator. We would have been better relying on Google maps with a bigger data plan, which was what we were doing by afternoon’s end. Though the Tomtom gave us some of the best Spanglish ever!

Monday evening and Tuesday morning we wandered the town before hitting the Guggenheim.

What to say about Frank Gehry’s masterpiece? It is just that in the literal sense of the word. A building for the ages. I had a fine time photographing it, especially as we worked our way from the back to the front. It is meant to be seen from across the river, and then once you understand the building you can go to the back and sides.

Then inside. I remember walking into Helmut Jahn’s Illinois State building in Chicago and having my eyes confused. Where to look? Not so here. Gehry has constructed as series of eyescapes for you to look at throughout the building. They are harmonious and pleasing and lead you to the galleries. Though, of course you cannot photograph the art, you are welcome to shoot the interior spaces and I did.

Those who argue that the collection is not so great may be right, but it is so well curated and interpreted that it need not be extensive. At one point Sharon and I finished a label and turned to one another with the comment, “wasn’t that a nice essay!”

And Richard Serra’s A Matter of Time simply gives you a new experience of art. And even though we were not supposed to photograph the art everyone seemed to shoot this one, so I did too.

And finally, two from Jeff Koons, The Puppy

 and his flowers which, from the outside,
add color to the monochrome of Gehry's building and from the inside pick up colors opposite

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