Artists of Bilbao

Again these are just images.

Eduardo Chillida – Basque Sculpture (10/1/1924 – 19/8/2002)

Eduardo Chillida - Berlin (2000)

Jorge Oteiza – Basque Sculpture and Artist (21/10/1908 – 9/4/2003

Jorge Oteiza – Oteiza Apostoluak "The apostles" (1950)

To be continued …



Art all about, from, including Bilbao (maybe). A little bit more

J. Crego and P. Serrano

BILBAO-Bilbao//Bilbao-BILBAO from [2,5 KLTB] J. Crego + P. Serrano on Vimeo.


Basque Country-Latuff2


Basque Pride-kinna13

Still not done yet.



deviantART (2012) DeviantART: Where ART Meets Application! [online] available from <> [1/23 2012]

Vimeo, L. (2012) Vimeo, Video Sharing for You [online] available from <> [1/24 2012]

Art all about, from, including Bilbao (maybe)

Ok, for now they’re just pictures of what I see as contemporary art relating to Bilbao and the Basque Country:

Rafa Rivas – Photographer

Bilbao Street-Rafa Rivas

Jessica Rose – Photographer

Bilbao Reflections-Jessica Rose

Maria Grazia Repetto – Painter

Futures Past-Maria Grazia Repetto

John Gaffen – Digital Art, Photo manipulation

Euskalduna Abstract II-John Gaffen

Yen – Photographer

Just Do It-Yen

Zaira Dzhaubaeva – Painter

Tugboats. Indigo Morning-Zaira Dzhaubaeva

Sunday Flower Market in Bilbao-Zaira Dzhaubaeva

While these are ‘just’ pictures I’m not finished yet.



Bilbao Arte (2012) Bilbao Arte [online] available from <> [1/23 2012]

FineArtAmerica (2012) Fine Art [online] available from <> [1/23 2012]

The Basque Country Page (?) The Basque Country Page [online] available from <> [1/23 2012]

Wheres the Guggenheim?, “Located in the Basque city of Bilbao in northern Spain” … Err really?


Ground breaking took place during 1993, and on the 19th October 1997. This building boasted by Philip Johnson to be “the greatest building of our time” hosting a collection of art from the mid-twentieth century to our present day. I to certain extent I am inclined to agree with Philip Johnson but we may not see it the same way.

While in no way to down play what Basque has to offer, what should be questioned is why Basque would agree to this if they did in fact have a choice. Known for its football and a unique style of football often criticised for its relation with ETA a separatist movement against the Spanish government and Finally known for its strategic commerce location “Located on the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao is the fourth largest city in Spain, one of the country’s most important ports, and a center for manufacturing, shipping, and commerce” (SRGF 2012)

The “Guggenheim Museum has put Bilbao on the Map” (Hermosa 2003:6) this was stated by an academic paper in 2003 after conducting interviews, while it  does go on to recognise that it has only “put Bilbao on the Map” from an external consumption point of view.  I am sure some Bilbao locals would have something to say about their cultural identity if it can be so readily replaced and ignore by an international museum. Furthermore while the Bilbao Guggenheim states “Bilbao’s holdings include work by modern and contemporary Basque and Spanish artists, including Eduardo Chillida, Cristina Iglesias, Juan Muñoz, Jorge Oteiza, Antonio Saura, and Antoni Tàpies” (SRGF 2012) but it’s collection of Basque art is “marginally represented in the collections and conservation promotion Basque culture is obviously not a goal for Museum management” (Hermosa 2003:6).

While Basque is still under the Spanish government rule it could suggest that the Guggenheim is not for cultural development or support but it fact nothing more, according to Hermosa, than “a political instrument, a strategic tool for development in the Basque region” (Hermosa 2003:6).

The Guggenheim has had an impact on the region, Bilbao specifically.  From its opening in 1997 to 2000 there has been significant raise and profit in the tourist industry including hotels, bars, restaurants and more which has been attributed the Guggenheim. Bilbao has also seen a decline in many traditional forms of labour such as industrial, manufacturing and agricultural sectors although when compared to the growth in the tourism sector this decline is marginal and cannot be directly attributed to the introduction of the museum. This may be marginal but the sectors suffering at that time were responsible for the culture within Bilbao and the Basque country that is still present today. The “’Guggenheim effect’ seems to have been more successful in attracting visitors and possibly developing a cultural tourist industry than in attracting international capital investment and strategic functions” (Bridge, Atkinson 2005:154).

What has been dubbed as the ‘Guggenheim effect’ in urban regeneration is often considered lacking in longevity and in this instances is trying to create a culture and economy of the backs of artistically creative individuals. Whether or not this will work or not for a region once defined by the industrial sectors and pride in their football (and still defined) is yet to be seen. Given the majority of the material I have been working with is at least 5 years old or older, what will be interesting is to find out where Bilbao currently stands on the urban development’s and cultural capital they have been issued? Have they received what was promised? 15 years after the Guggenheim was opened is it still supporting its area? Could this museum and regeneration be a step in subtly and systematically undermining a regions culture?



Bridge, G. and Atkinson, R. (2005) Gentrification in a Global Context: The New Urban Colonialism [online] . USA: Routledge. available from <>

During, S. (2008) The Cultural Studies Reader. 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Fuchs, D. (2008) Theft and Financial Blunders Take Shine Off Bilbao’s Guggenheim [online] available from <> [1/3 2012]

Hermonsa, C. J. (2004) Urban Resistance, Arts and Culture: The Bilbao Region as an Innovative Milieu. edn. Basque: Department of Applied Economics, University of Basque Country

SRGF (2012) Bilbao – Guggenheim [online] available from <> [1/3 2012]