Musing with Max

Musing with Max

June 30, 2013

La Espana-parte dos 1/2-Bilbao-The Guggenheim

I have always been fascinated by architecture. I guess its in the genes, my father was a draftsman, my brother is an electrical engineer and I actually studied architecture for a year until the stupid bug bit me and I moved on to something else which wasn't halfway as interesting. I am lucky to live practically in New York City where the architecture can give you whiplash and the town where I live has such diverse and beautiful homes that taking a walk with Max is never a chore. I am not particularly enamored of one specific form of architecture, I do adore just about anything Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed and the same goes for Antoni Gaudi, but other than that I'm pretty open minded for the exception of 1970's office buildings. So the first time I saw a photo of Frank Gehry's design for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao my first thought was "Good God what an ugly stupid looking structure!" It looks like a bunch of tin cans set askew. I could never understand how people (and people in the know) went on and on and on about what masterpiece this abomination was. However, being an art buff one of my first thoughts when we decided to visit Bilbao was, "I'm going to the Guggenheim". And I must admit I was quite anxious to see the building. It was within walking distance from our hotel on the other side of the river. The river curves a bit so we couldn't see it until we came around a bend and all of a sudden there it was.

But first, and to my absolute delight, we had to cross this really gorgeous Santiago Calatrava footbridge

which just made me jump for joy because he's one of my favorites too.
As we walked up to it I just kept staring, first of all its massive and has a lot of outdoor space for sculpture

In addition to its permanent collection, which includes, Jeff Koons' whimsical "puppy"

and "tulips"

which gave me occasion to get a little artistic myself, and an amazing series of sculptures by Richard Serra which I did not photograph since I follow instructions and they ask you not to photograph the art inside the building (but you can see it here ), the featured exhibition "Art in War-France 1938-1947" was interesting but a tad depressing. We did get to see Picasso's "Marie-Therese leaning" which Frank has in his office. But the real work of art is the building.

just about everything in it pales in comparison

inside and out

it is an absolute masterpiece.

I stand corrected.


  1. That looks amazing and obviously seeing it in person adds dimensions you can't get in a picture. I am trying to be more open-minded about modern architecture--I love modern art, don't know why I've been so slow to warm up to the buildings, but I'm getting there. It makes you see things in a new way, to stop and think and feel. Your pictures are great.

    Love the Jeff Koons puppy!

  2. I'm indifferent about Geary's work but I can understand why he does what he does. Many of the components seem to defy gravity. I guess it needed up be pretty spectacular to stand up to FLW's NY Guggenheim.

    I would have loved to seen what was inside in person!