Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 48001 Bilbao BIZKAIA Spain www.guggenheim-bilbao.es
This fall, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents two special exhibitions: The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting from the Städel Museum (through January 23, 2011) and Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/ Performance (through March 13, 2011), featuring artworks from the past and the present, and allowing the viewer to understand some of the developments of contemporary art that have their foundations in the history of art. The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting from the Städel Museum is an exquisite selection of masterpieces from the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, one of the most important institutions in Europe. The Städel owns a unique collection of seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings from the so-called Golden Age, the period of greatest Dutch domain. Sponsored by Fundación BBVA, the exhibition offers visitors a journey through 130 masterpieces from the period, most of which have never been on display in Spain before. The extensive selection of Dutch paintings is enhanced by significant and representative Flemish Baroque works in a thematic tour of five sections corresponding to the traditional genres—historical painting, portraiture, landscapes, still lifes, and genre paintings—that showcase the Dutch elite’s taste and ideals. The show includes masterpieces by over eighty artists, including the most prominent ones from this period: Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, the Brueghels, Jordaens and Teniers, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Jan van Goyen, Cornelis de Heem, Karel van Mander, Dirck van Baburen, Abraham Mignon, or Adriaen Brouwer, among others The achievements of the so-called Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish paintings, a period that spans from approximately 1580 to the early eighteenth century, are exceptionally represented by The Geographer, a masterpiece by the great Dutch painter Jan Vermeer on display in Spain for the first time. The colorful pictorial elegance, optical delicacy, fusion of levels of consolidated genres, and union of art and science combine to make this painting a symbol of Dutch painting of the period and thus, one of the exhibition’s highlights. For the first time since it opened, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is welcoming a work by this great master, a pioneer in the use of optical tools, such as the camera obscura, who produced just over thirty works during his career and whose relevance to art history was not recognized until two hundred years after his death. Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/ Performance Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/ Performance features over one hundred works by sixty artists who examine the myriad ways in which photographic imagery is incorporated into recent art, with the aim of underscoring the unique power of recording technologies and documenting a widespread contemporary obsession, both collective and individual, with accessing the past. With a particular emphasis on photography, but also including other media such as painting, video, film, performance, and installation art from the 1960s to the present day, Haunted reveals the extraordinary quality of the photographic and new media works in the Guggenheim Collections. A great success during its exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York until September 6 this year, the presentation in Bilbao features sixty new works alongside selections from the initial show, some of which have never been exhibited in Spain before. Among these works are recent acquisitions made by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, including pieces by Marina Abramović, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand, Roni Horn, Christian Marclay, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Jeff Wall. The exhibition also includes artworks created in the 1960s and 70s by artists such as Andy Warhol, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joan Jonas, Robert Rauschenberg, Martha Rosler, and Robert Smithson, which represent the incorporation of photographic images in contemporary art on a massive scale and help put more recent works in context. Finally, a significant part of the show is dedicated to works created after 2001 by young artists.