Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bilbao waterfront and the Guggenheim Museum

With the Rio Nervion dividing the city of Bilbao, bridges are a must. Here's the 1983 Viscaya Bridge near the mouth of the river:

"Starchitect" Santiago Calatrava's footbridge near the Guggenheim. Like all his work, it was over time and budget and, with its glass pavement, too slippery and scary to use as it was built, so the city put a non-slip surface on it, causing Calatrava to sue them for messing up his masterpiece...

The Puente de la Salve, from which the best photos of the Guggenheim Museum can be had:

The Guggenheim is beautifully sited on the Rio Nervion without other buildings crowding around it. Its permanent collection isn't much and it's mostly given over to traveling exhibitions, like the current Jeff Koons retrospective. Here's the only Jeff Koons piece I can stand, Puppy, which is regularly replanted with seasonal flowers at the entrance to the Guggenheim:

Sadly, a Nikki de St. Phalle exhibit that I would love to have seen had just closed. There was still her "Three Graces" on the exterior, so I had to be content with that:

There are some interesting exterior pieces of sculpture on permanent view, including the seriously creepy "Spider."

Otherwise, the Guggenheim is its own piece of art

Interiors can be rather vertiginous, but I liked this "cloud" sculpture, lit from within

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