The northern Spanish city of Bilbao is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is home to a wondrous work of art and architecture.  The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, with a price tag for 89 million dollars, opened to the public in 1997.  Hailed as one of the main factors in revitalizing the city, immediately becoming a tourist attraction and bringing recognition and culture to the previously industrial port, it’s contemporary construction stands the test of time (with the help of a titanium clad exterior). It is frequently named one of the most important works of architecture in recent history. 

Photo courtesy of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

The unique curves and intended ‘randomness’ of the design captures the eye and attention constantly.  The Atrium is the heart of the museum with curved volumes and large glass curtains to connect the inside and outside.  Abundant light and a skylight make all three levels a delight to be in whether admiring the atrium itself or the artwork within.  As impressive as the structure is, what is inside takes this museum to the peak of aesthetics.  

Photo Courtesy by architecturalmoleskine

The Guggenheim Bilbao boasts an impressive collection of contemporary art from the mid twentieth century to present day.  Pioneers such as Robert Motherwell, Yves Klein and Andy Warhol are just a few of the many great artists represented here.  Apart from the established collection many exhibitions are brought in, there are workshops and courses, exciting events, some social, some cultural and all extraordinarily well done.  Art After Dark allows you to visit the exhibitions to the beat of the best DJs.  

One of the current featured collections is Richard Serra’s The Matter of Time, a series of eight sculptures made of weathering steel.  The entire room is part of the sculptural field with the pieces arranged deliberately to move the viewer through them both spatially and temporally.  As the sculptures evolve from simple curves to complex spirals, the experience of walking through the display resonates on several levels, producing different effects on movement and perception that have to be experienced to be understood profoundly.  This is the right time to visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao, if not now, when?