017 Flores Puppy Media scaled

Family Green Tour

Welcome to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao!

You are in a fascinating building, about to see very special and interesting works of art. Some of these works tell amazing stories about nature, plants, light, water, and other elements.


A dog with a flowery coat?
Puppy 1

A dog with a flowery coat?

Museum Square

Puppy welcomes visitors to the Museum. It is a colossal West Highland terrier. Just picture your favorite animals in a larger-than-life size…

Did you know that Puppy is a “living” work of art? It changes by the day, as the flowering plants it is made of grow and need care. The plants are changed twice a year, in spring and fall. Carpeted in bedding plants, our Puppy shares the quality of being alive.
Puppy is equipped with a sustainable irrigation system that keeps its flowers watered and fresh. Thanks to this irrigation system, the plants get just the right amount of water.

Jeff Koons, Puppy, 1992
Stainless steel, soil, and flowering plants
1240 x 1240 x 820 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Luminous words
Holzer J Instalación para Bilbao Installation for Bilbao 1997 scaled

Luminous words


This work looks different… What is it made of? Screens and words written in LEDs? The words move up and down; now you see them, now you don’t. It is not as in books or computers.

Was made using light-emitting diodes (LEDs)… to emit light while saving energy!

Jenny Holzer uses words to talk about intimate, secret thoughts and feelings—those that we usually whisper in someone’s ear, only she shouts them out loud, for everyone to hear!

Walk around the floor-to-ceiling luminous columns. Enter Holzer’s work. Be part of it! In fact, you are part of it already, just looking at it…

Jenny Holzer, Installation for Bilbao, 1997/2017
Electronic LED signs
Site-specific dimensions
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

I Spy with My Little Eye… Fog!
Nakaya F Escultura de niebla 08025 G Fog Sculpture 08025 FOG 1998 scaled

I Spy with My Little Eye… Fog!

Terrace by the river

Fujiko Nakaya was the first artist to make sculptures with fog. In her fog sculptures, Nakaya combines water, atmosphere, air currents, and time in subtle ways. The fog is made with a pump system hidden beneath the edge of the pond.

Nakaya’s sculptures need to be experienced. Fog Sculpture #08025 becomes active every hour on the hour for eight minutes. Make sure not to miss out on it!

Fujiko Nakaya, Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.), 1998
Water fog generated by 1,000 fog nozzles and high-pressure pump/motor system
Site-specific dimensions
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

A Humongous Spider!
Bourgeois L  Mamá Maman 1999 scaled

A Humongous Spider!

Terrace by the river

From here you can also see this artwork!

Maman is a giant bronze spider with long, slender legs.
Come closer and get inside the spider. Don’t you feel small? Now look up: what can you see? There is a sac full of marble eggs, hidden–or protected–within the spider’s frame.

Why is this sculpture’s title Maman? Does it really remind you of motherhood? The artist’s mother wove tapestries, just like spiders weave their webs. So the piece is a tribute to Bourgeois’s mother.

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

Make a Wish
Arbol deseos Yoko Ono

Make a Wish

Terrace, 2nd floor

In Wish Tree for Bilbao, artist Yoko Ono invites us to make a wish for peace and hang it in her tree.
This work is part of Ono’s broader peace project around the globe. The tree in the Museum is not always available for written prayers. When it is not, you can whisper your wish to the tree.

Come on! Make your wish!

In the course of history, olive trees have been put to multiple uses. A familiar feature of the Mediterranean landscape, they have contributed, in practical and symbolic terms, to the economy, health, and haute cuisine of the people of the Mediterranean region. The olive tree has also become synonymous with life, victory, and peace. It grows wherever there is a temperate climate, sunny and free from frosts. Olives and olive oil are staples of the Mediterranean diet and a strong sector in the food industry.

Yoko Ono, Wish Tree for Bilbao, 1996/2014
Handwritten framed text, olive tree, soil, wooden pot, lectern, labels, and pens
Dimensions variable
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

What is This Made Of?

What is This Made Of?

Gallery 304, 3rd floor

El Anatsui makes fascinating metal sculptures. But how does he make his works? It is a difficult, burdensome process, indeed, collecting recycled aluminum pieces, flattening and twisting them, and then stitching them together using copper wire. And he does all this with the help of his assistants, so it really is the result of teamwork!

El Anatsui shows his concern about climate change in this work. The sea level may rise and coastal areas might disappear; nature may change and our planet will suffer the consequences if we do not take care.

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


Finally, to complete this tour, go home and collect wrapping and packaging materials to recycle, and stitch them together to make a quilt to hang wherever you like. Maybe a room or a hallway?

We hope you have enjoyed this tour of the Museum and learned a few interesting things about art. Also, we hope to see you again soon!