I arrived in Bilbao, Spain, after leaving Grenoble, France, without any sleep the night before, and had to get ready for the Quartet West concert at Teatro Campos Eliseos. This is a newly renovated theater, after it was attacked by Basque political activists about 10 years ago, in protest of the Spanish government controlling the Basque country. Bilbao has a much different attitude than the other Spanish cities that we have spent time in, due to the pride the Basque people have of their country and heritage.
We arrived the day before Easter Sunday, Charlie and the Quartet played that same night, and then we had Easter off in Bilbao. The hotel that we were staying at is right across from the Guggenheim in Bilbao, so we spent the day at the museum.
The Guggenheim Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, is an incredible work of art in itself, and the current installations by Robert Rauschenberg and Anish Kapoor that are housed in it are congruent with the atmosphere that such a modern museum creates.
The work of Anish Kapoor was what really caught my attention and seemed to do the same for most visitors that day. A large percent of his works shown in the Guggenheim are made of red wax, which not only commands the viewer visually, but also sonically and and sensually. The piece, “My Red Homeland”, uses red wax and a gigantic metal structure that makes one full revolution per hour, carving and shaping the wax. The entire room in which “My Red Homeland” is displayed, has a faint smell of the wax and a darkness that Kapoor describes by saying,” The blackness of red is much blacker than the blackness of blue or even the blackness of black.” Another piece, much different than the previous one, “Untitled, 1990”, is a work that plays with the visual and sonic perception of the viewer. The large, bowl-like structures attached to the gallery walls are not easily distinguished as either solid or hollow until the viewer stands right in front of the piece, and then the negative space inside the work can be heard rather than seen.
Check out more of Anish Kapoor’s work at his website, HERE.
Below are a couple of photos taken at the Guggenheim, one of which is my favorite candid photo I have taken on tour of Rodney and Alan checking out the Richard Serra piece “The Matter of Time”.