The Guggenheim Museum is a museum of modern and contemporary art located in Bilbao, Spain and it is one of the five museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. It is by far the most recognizable building in Bilbao. Built at the initiative of the Basque government and managed by Guggenheim Foundation, it is a modern and impressive edifice, in relative terms, with 16,000 square meters of exhibition space, being just one of the stages of the ambitious project to transform Bilbao into a metropolis and cultural center. The building is so impressive that some critics have suggested that it might overshadow the value of art collections it houses.
The building was designed by Frank Gehry, one of the most esteemed and admired contemporary architects, and is considered a shining example of contemporary architectural art. The museum was almost instantaneous credited with promoting the Basque city in the world. Many believe that this museum has put Bilbao on the “world tourist map". The spectacular Guggenheim museum looks exactly as we imagine a real art museum – innovative, yet in a functional style. Built around a steel frame and covered with a titanium alloy, the museum stands as testimony for Gehry's genius.
The permanent collections of the museum focus on the paintings and sculptures of the 20th century art, with a preference for systems and electronic forms. The works belong to both Spanish and international artists, including Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Yves Klein, Fujiko Nakaya and Louise Bourgeois. Exposed in Arches gallery, the series of steel sculptures "The matter of time" of the artist Richard Serra is undoubtedly the main attraction of the museum.
By Maria Morari
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