A visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

One of the perks of traveling to Paris on business is the opportunity to add a few days to our trip for pleasure. This time we decided to visit Biarritz, France and Bilbao, Spain, home of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. Ever since I saw photos of the building, opened in 1997, it’s been on my bucket list. I wasn’t disappointed, just surprised.

guggenheim-bilbao-5First I was surprised that the museum is right in the center of town. I had visions of it being on the outskirts, on its own campus. I also thought it was larger. Mind you, it wasn’t small, just smaller than I had imagined. Regardless, it is spectacular architecture.

A panorama of the interior

A panorama of the interior

Then I was surprised about the city of Bilbao. I imagined it was a little hole-in-the-wall community, but it’s not! It’s a fairly large city, clean, with impressive buildings, squares, restaurants, etc.

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim's exhibition

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim’s exhibition

The museum specializes in modern art and currently has an extensive Basquiat exhibition. Call me ignorant, but I don’t get it. Basquiat paintings are highly sought after and bring millions at auction, but I think if Monet were alive today, he wouldn’t get it either. When I look at art that I could have done myself, it’s not art. It seems Basquiat was blessed by the powers that be and then could do no wrong. If he had thrown dirt at a canvas and put a stripe on it, someone would have interpreted it as brilliant and revolutionary. Looks to me like an example of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Christie’s recently sold a Basquiat, Dustheads for $48,843,750. OK, I admit I couldn’t have painted that one.

Basquiat painting Dustheads, sold at Christie's May 15, 2013

Basquiat painting Dustheads , sold at Christie’s May 15, 2013

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

It was very interesting watching a Senegalese spray can artist decorating one of the main columns of the interior. He had hundreds of cans of spray paint available. I wonder if this will be a permanent exhibition.

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

We spent the day at the museum, but it would have been fun to stay longer in Bilbao and experience the city. Maybe another day.

winnetka-10-2015Our next show is coming up soon at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, November 6-8, 2015. We used to exhibit at shows in the greater Chicago area 4-6 times yearly. Most of them have disappeared, so we now only exhibit in Chicago twice a year, once in the fall in Winnetka and once in the spring in Glencoe at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Too bad, because we like Chicago and have lots of friends and clients. We’re really looking forward to seeing you at the show, so please put the dates in your calendar.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

One thought on “A visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

  1. If I may inquire … would you be the Philip Chasen who lived on Kimball and Ainsley in Chicago when growing up? Did you go to Hibbard School? Were you born in or around 1945? Did you have a single mother of 2 children, you and older sister, Bobbi? If so, we played together often, games, etc. Until I moved away at age 11. If any of this is familiar or correct, please use my email address to get in touch, if you like. And … you have beautiful things.
    Thank you,
    Susan Minx

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