Fascinating Art

Welcome to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao!

Can art help us to better understand our emotions?

This self-guided itinerary will bring you face to face with some of the works in the Museum Collection—discover how attractive and fascinating some of those artworks are for viewers. The works in this itinerary were selected on the basis of the results of a digital study of the relationship between art and emotions. You are invited to be part of this study as well!

We hope you find the experience enjoyable!


Red Arches / Arku gorriak
Arcos Rojos

Red Arches / Arku gorriak

Access the Museum. Once in the Atrium, come out on the terrace. Turn round to face La Salve Bridge: you will see the monumental sculpture Red Arches / Arku gorriak.

Unveiled to mark the Museum’s 10th anniversary, Red Arches / Arku gorriak by French artist Daniel Buren enhances the presence of the bridge, making it more visible and dynamic.

For this work, Buren designed a huge vertical piece perpendicular to the original structure of the bridge, cutting three circles out of it at equal distances.

The artist was aware of the characteristics of the environment where his work would be located—first and foremost, the fact that his sculpture would lie on a bridge, as a sort of triumphal arch or a gateway into or out of the city center.

How do you think you would feel if you were standing under this massive red structure?

Daniel Buren, Red Arches / Arku gorriak, 2007
Compact laminate sheets, aluminum, galvanized steel, PVC film, clear Plexiglas, LEDs, and metal halide projectors
Modified structure: 57.5 x 27.85 x 2.17 m
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Bourgeois L  Mamá Maman 1999 scaled


Exterior, next to the estuary

Maman is one of Louise Bourgeois’s most ambitious works. It is part of a series of works that take the spider as their subject or motif. The artist began depicting spiders in the 1940s, and they were a central motif to her work in the 1990s. Spider imagery is ever-present in Bourgeois’s work. In spiders, the artist paid tribute to her mother, who was a weaver.

Bourgeois was a multidisciplinary artist, but sculpture was her main means of expression, connecting art to space. Almost 9 meters in height, Bourgeois’s giant spider is an awe-inspiring creature, but it also looks attractive, noble, and protective. Can you tell why?


Louise Bourgeois, Maman, 1999
Bronze, marble, and stainless steel
927 x 891 x 1023 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Rising Sea
El Anatsui

Rising Sea

Gallery 304, 3rd floor

El Anatsui is famous for his singular, evocative metal sculptures, rooted in the traditional forms of African art. His works reveal a personal approach to art in their global contemporary aesthetics, also exploring multiple themes in connection with colonialism and the history of Africa.

The technical aspects of this artist’s creative process are amazing. How do you think El Anatsui makes his artworks?

Rising Sea tells the story of the sudden changes that may transform civilizations and nature. The piece’s dimensions are indicative of the urgency of climate change and the disasters it might bring about.

How does this silvery rising sea make you feel?


El Anatsui, Rising Sea, 2019
Aluminum and copper wire
800 x 1400 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Like Beauty in Flames
Like Beauty In Flames

Like Beauty in Flames

3rd floor balcony

Jenny Holzer resorts to language as a means of artistic expression and has often installed her art projects in public spaces.

Since the 1980s, Holzer has been sending truisms and messages against injustice, oppression, and the abuse of power, amongst others, using electronic display screens, large-scale projections, digital signs on moving trucks, and even cold marble benches like the ones you are facing right now.

Come to the balcony and download the mobile app for the unique digital artwork Like Beauty in Flames. Here Holzer’s text-based art is presented through augmented reality. The work comprises two site-specific components that interact with the Museum’s architecture, and a third element that can be accessed from anywhere in the world!


Jenny Holzer, Like Beauty in Flames, 2021
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Rauschenberg R Barcaza Barge 1962 63 scaled


Gallery 303

Robert Rauschenberg has been identified as a forerunner of virtually every postwar American art movement since Abstract Expressionism, though he remained fiercely independent of any particular affiliation throughout his long career.

In 1962, after visiting Andy Warhol’s studio, Rauschenberg began using silkscreen to insert existing images—his own photographs or those culled from popular media sources—into his work. It was an innovative technique, which enabled him to reproduce images at a larger scale and easily reuse them in a variety of contexts.

Being almost 10 meters in width, Barge is Rauschenberg’s largest silkscreen painting. It is a monumental work in black, gray, and white, incorporating many of the images and motifs used by the artist repeatedly in his silkscreen paintings.

Can you identify any of them?


Robert Rauschenberg, Barge, 1962-63
Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
208 x 980.5 x 5.2 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

ARTETIK: From the Art
Artetik 1 scaled

ARTETIK: From the Art

Hallway next to gallery 303

How do you feel when you look at a work of art? Do you think other people feel the same?

ARTETIK: From the Art is a digital experience you cannot afford to miss!

This installation will allow you to explore the emotions triggered by the works in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection. ARTETIK consists of a digital experience that is being completed over time, generating a collective graphic of emotions as other visitors interact with it.

Experience the art from the Museum Collection and share your emotions! You can also explore other works arousing feelings of fascination in the viewer.

ARTETIK: From the Art is a project carried out by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Google Arts & Culture.


This is the end of your tour. We hope you have enjoyed the experience! The works in this tour are but a few examples of fascinating art. There are many more, of course. Just follow your own path around to spot others, and feel the attraction of art. See you again soon!