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The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Spain [REVIEW]

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Spain [REVIEW]

Old Jun 5, 17, 8:39 am
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The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Spain [REVIEW]

August 2016, our visit to the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

One of the purposes of our visit to Bilbao for a weekend in August 2016 was the Andy Warhol exhibition “Shadows” at the Guggenheim Museum.

We stayed very conveniently at the Gran Hotel Domine, just across the road. Please see our review.

The Guggenheim - the architect was Frank Gehry - has wonderful flowing lines and we enjoyed the design.

We liked also that artwork like Jeff Koons’ “Puppy” and other sculptures were accessible outdoors around the museum and the artificial lake without paying entrance.

The entrance, hall and atrium felt monumental, bright and airy, something to be explored when visiting this iconic venue.
Due to us having booked our tickets online we could avoid all lines of people, we showed our tickets at the check point and could enter without any delays.

One of the first art installations we encountered was “Installation for Bilbao” by Jenny Holzer. You can walk through it and there are digital displays of phrases in different languages.

“Shadows” was on the ground floor in a very large exhibition room. Andy Warhol created it in 1978. It started out as one painting in multiple parts. It was the second time only that all 102 prints which belong to this series had been exhibited in full.

We loved the high white walls and the contrast to the colorful artwork. Some of them were quite gloomy – different shades of grey, black and white, while others were popping into the eye (different neon colors, like green, pink and yellow) or warm (red and earth tones).

It wasn’t monotonous at all and we found it quite inspiring, sitting sometimes on one of the benches to watch how other people reacted to the art and study the prints from afar.

Photography is generally not allowed at Exhibitions we found out. While “Shadows” and the atrium were an exception, here we could take photos, which we enjoyed beside the other visitors. The museum itself can be seen as one fascinating artwork which should be studied rather carefully in detail of architecture, detail and elegance in the heart of Bilbao.

Other exhibitions we visited including: “Louise Bourgeois. Structures Of Existence: The Cells” and “Windows On The City: The School Of Paris, 1900 – 1945”.

Both were very impressive and very different.

There were many other paintings, sculptures and the building itself including terraces to be explored. Visitors could spend the whole day there.

There are two restaurants and one bar on the premises. All of the outlets are run by Josean Alija and Nerua holds 1 Michelin star. The Bistro offers good value with a three course for 25 Euro per person (ca. 27.95 USD).

We went to the bar and enjoyed snacks. It was self-service when sitting indoors and waiter service on the terrace.
Like the whole environment of the museum, the bar space was stylish.

To our surprise birds found their way into the bar area too and one of them was hungry, so it took a bite out of one of the cakes and was gone as quickly as it came. What a fascinating bonus!

We had one still water, two cod omelets, two white tuna and vegetable empanadas and one ham sandwich. It was very tasty indeed. A quick and satisfying taste of Spain.

We paid 17 Euro (ca. 19 USD).

We were amazed by the art on display, the building and the great food. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is definitely on our list of museums to re-visit, when visiting beautiful Bilbao in our future again.

It’s a memorable city, friendly people, and as experienced at the Guggenheim, a cultural destination which shouldn’t be overlooked when planning on which city to visit when in Spain.

Here are some of our images we took while visiting "Shadows" by Andy Warhol at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain in August 2016:

Would we recommend this cultural venue to a friend? YES!
Would we want to visit again this cultural venue in our future? YES!

Thank you and safe travels.
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Old Jun 9, 17, 9:33 pm
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When I visited the museum in 2003, that Gehry style was still kind of new and scarce which made the architecture that much more impressive. The entry/atrium had a piece of art that was tall columns with moving digital messages. That movement led your eyes upward thru the atrium and had a real wow factor. Nice to hear that still kind of exists.

The other outstanding piece of architecture in Bilbao is the airport terminal, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The only other time I was that wowed by an airport was when I walked into the TWA terminal at JFK years ago.
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