Marking History

September 20, 2022 - January 22, 2023

3rd floor

This presentation of Sections/Intersections focuses on two keystones of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: the architecture of Frank Gehry and a selection of fundamental works from the Museum Collection that mark off crucial moments in art history. In an ambitious gesture to underscore the resonance between art and architecture, this presentation of some of the Museum’s most outstanding pieces allows the original configuration of the building to be revealed as fully as possible by removing the internal partitions added in the course of time. The show is a celebration of the diaphanous and luminous spaces of the third floor through a selection of works that highlight significant moments in the history of both international and local art after World War II.

Marking History is inspired both by the Museum’s holdings of singular works by artists and by historical artistic movements that are well represented in the Collection. The exhibition thus presents figures who belonged to the avant-garde of their time and whose contributions were truly decisive for their sphere. Each gallery offers the chance to view the production of a single artist or of several who explore shared concerns from different perspectives.

Some spaces show site-specific installations or single pieces of an experiential character, like those dedicated to Cristina Iglesias, Sol LeWitt, and El Anatsui. The work by the last of these, Rising Sea, is a contemporary sculpture of great importance in the career of the African artist, and is the latest acquisition to join the Collection. Other rooms house thematic selections on the development of abstract art after World War II, or on approaches between abstraction and spirituality, as well as on Pop Art and the presence of popular culture in contemporary art. The displays furthermore include historic documentation on these artistic trends and the artists who contributed to them.