Our students enjoy another fascinating FREE trip to the Guggenheim Museum

06 Mar 2017

Once again students of our Spanish courses have enjoyed another free trip to the incredible Guggenheim Museum here in Bilbao. At least once a month we plan to take our students to Bilbao’s most popular tourist attraction in order to see its globally famous exterior and equally impressive art inside.

Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and opened by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in October 1997, the museum is home to various, renowned works of modern and contemporary art. Gehry was asked by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to build something daring and innovative and upon approaching the museum you can certainly see he listened. In fact, the museum is so spectacular architect Philip Johnson described it as "the greatest building of our time”. Situated right beside the Nervión River, which runs through Bilbao, the 32,500-square-meter building is completely unique and extraordinary in its appearance. Shapes of stone, glass and titanium ingeniously intertwine and appear utterly random. The reflective panels that cover the majority of the building seem reminiscent of fish scales.

Outside the museum we saw various works of art including Louise Bourgeois’ “Mamá”, a 10 metre tall sculpture made out of bronze and stainless steel. It resembles a spider with a sack of 26 marble eggs. The statue is supposed to be an ode to his mother, and while at first I thought this to be a negative tribute, Bourgeois explains: “spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother”. We also saw ‘The Puppy’, a large, beautiful statue designed by Jeff Koons made out of steel and entirely covered in flowers.

Upon entering the museum you get a sense of its immense size. We learnt that it has more exhibition space than the three Guggenheim museums in New York combined. The atrium is extremely spacious and was nicknamed by Gehry as ‘The Flower’ as its walls and ceilings curve like a petal. After entering for free, thanks to Instituto Hemingway, we grabbed our audio guides and went straight to the museum’s biggest gallery, home to Richard Serra’s exhibition ‘The Matter of Time’. Consisting of 8 enormous, weathering steel sculptures that represent the artist’s impression of the physicality of space and time, the structures seem to stand weightlessly twisting and bending as if made of paper. We walked in and around the sculptures experiencing a dizzying sensation as they twist and turn in such a way that you lose all sense of direction.

We spent many worthwhile hours exploring this vast and fascinating museum seeing various other pieces of work by well renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso and Sam Taylor-Johnson. Furthermore, we saw a temporary exhibition titled “The Collection of Hermann and Margrit Rupf” which shows the impressive collection of the first private Swiss collectors to treasure abstract and contemporary art. It ends in April so we will make sure to organise another trip before then!

If you want to experience similar, free, daily excursions throughout Bilbao, while also improving your Spanish, then don’t hesitate to join us at Instituto Hemingway. Our school offers professional, effective and worthwhile morning Spanish classes and in the afternoon the opportunity to explore this fascinating city and its surrounding areas at no extra cost. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to write to us at info@institutohemingway.com.

We hope to see you soon!



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