Friday October 2
We were going to take the metro into Bilbao but it was impossible to find a parking spot anywhere nearby so we ended up driving into the City. Once again I am very thankful for our trusty iPad and its navigational abilities. We finally find a parking garage there and walk to the Guggenheim along the river. We pass this big mural under a bridge.
The Guggenheim Bilbao was not what we expected, and judging by the looks on the other visitors’ faces, not what they expected either. I did like the Richard Serra installation called The Matter of Time. Here is a picture of a picture and then a not very good photo of Bob walking through one of the sculptures to give an idea of its immense size.
An interactive art work. Can you spot me?
There were only two other exhibits, one of an artist named Jean-Michel Besquiat and a couple of video installations that were very strange. Besquiat’s work was a bit like street art, quite dark and hard to appreciate. Look him up if you are interested. There were no photos allowed. I decided that the building itself is really a piece of artwork and needs to be appreciated that way. It is not a functional building for displaying art, or even for navigating through.
One of Bilbao residents favourite pieces of art is Puppy by Jeff Koon. It is a 13 m (43′) high sculpture of a Highland Terrier with a coat of flowers. It made both of us smile.
And…I don’t think Inhave mentioned how much people in Spain love dogs. There are dogs eveywhere, and often they are very large dogs. These two ladies had seven dogs between them, some of them were off leash.
We had our picnic lunch on the benches here and then go to the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, which was wonderful. It was very well organized chronologically and the paintings were also labeled in English, which we really appreciated. There are so many fantastic Spanish painters I have never even heard of. We particularly liked the 13th to 15th Century paintings which were larger, more colourful and full of expression than paintings we have seen from this time in other museums. I took a quick snap of this Mary Cassatt work, which is one of my favourites. I was so surprised to walk into a room and find this painting.
On our walk back to our car I took this photo to show the mix of very modern sculpture in the foreground, very old buildings, and then the extremely modern tower in the background. Everywhere in Spanish cities and towns we see this interesting mix of styles.