Bourgeois L  Mamá Maman 1999 scaled

Women on Tour

Welcome to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao!

In this tour, which you can take at your own pace, you will see a number of works from the Museum Collection or on loan created by female artists or showing women. We would like to share them with you, giving them the place they deserve in the history of art and culture


Louise Bourgeois
Bourgeois L  Mamá Maman 1999 scaled

Louise Bourgeois

Exterior next to the footbridge

Enter the Museum. Once in the Atrium, go to the terrace. From there, you will be able to see Louise Bourgeois’s Maman.

Louise Bourgeois had a long, prolific career, spanning almost… seven decades! She interacted with some of the leading avant-garde movements of the 20th century, sticking to her own style—innovative, independent, and creative. Bourgeois was a multidisciplinary artist, but sculpture was her main means of expression, connecting art to space.

Over 9 meters in height, Maman is one of Bourgeois’s most ambitious works. Spiders were a subject and a motif in her work. In them, the artist paid tribute to her mother, who was a weaver. Did you know?

Spiders can be disturbing, but they can also be noble and protective. Can you tell why?

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

Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono | Artistas | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Yoko Ono

Level 2 terrace

Yoko Ono is a key figure in contemporary creation, especially in performance and participatory art. She played a key role in the Japanese avant-garde and was a member of Fluxus, an American and European interdisciplinary community of artists who engaged in experimental art performances during the 1960s and 1970s.

Ono is also a peace activist and an advocate of feminism and human rights.

Wish Tree for Bilbao is a participatory work inviting visitors to make a wish for peace and, on certain days, hang it in the tree. The wishes are then collected and sent to Ono, to be included in her ongoing project for world peace. When the tree is not available for written prayers, you can just whisper your wish.
Come on! Make a wish!

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

Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner

Gallery 304, level 3

After years of hard work and training, Lee Krasner became a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, the post-World War II art movement that transformed New York City into the capital of the arts.

Her work is the result of constant exploration and reinvention, from the early self-portraits and life drawings to the more exuberant, monumental works in later years. Her paintings often are explosions of light and color.

Palingenesis got its title from the Greek word for “being born again”—a fundamental and recurring concept in Krasner’s work. In her own words, “Evolution, growth, and change go on. Change is life.”

What does this work suggest? What changes in your life have contributed to your personal growth?

Palingenesis, 1971
Oil on canvas
208.3 x 340.4 cm
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York

Cristina Iglesias
Iglesias Habitacion de alabastro 1024x811 1

Cristina Iglesias

Gallery 307, level 3

Cristina Iglesias has contributed a new concept of sculpture, experimenting with space in her poetic, symbolically-laden works and installations.

Her sculptures are meant to be “inhabited” and her spaces are designed to produce certain sensations in the viewers.

In Untitled (Alabaster Room), light generates a soft glow through the alabaster slabs, which changes the perception of the space beneath them.

As in many of Iglesias’s works, ambient light and space are key, almost immaterial features.

Untitled (Alabaster Room) [Sin título (Habitación de alabastro)]
Iron and alabaster
313 x 560 x 218.5 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Jenny Holzer
Like Beauty In Flames

Jenny Holzer

Level 3 balcony

Jenny Holzer is one of America’s best-known conceptual artists. Resorting to language as a means of artistic expression, she inserts her art projects into the urban environment. This is where her strength as an artist lies.

Holzer has been sending messages against injustice and oppression, and about the nature of power, since the 1980s, using electronic display screens, large-scale projections, digital signs on trucks, and even cold white marble benches.

Come to the balcony and download the app for Like Beauty in Flames on your cell phone. Here Holzer uses augmented reality as her creative means. This unique work comprises three different experiences: one located in three specific points inside the Museum; another one situated in different points outside in dialogue with the architecture of the building; and a third that can be accessed anywhere in the world.

Like Beauty in Flames
Augmented Reality app
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Yayoi Kusama
yayoi kusama creditos centrados

Yayoi Kusama

Gallery 301

Artist and writer Yayoi Kusama is a unique voice to whom the history of art has given the relevant place she deserves. Kusama conceives art as a way for social change, and has worked mediums such as performance, painting, drawing, sculpture, literature, and her well-known immersive spaces—the Infinity Mirrored Rooms.

This room constitutes an immersive experience that projects the hallucinations Kusama suffered from an early age. This way, the artist lets us into her creative universe and conveys her need for “self-obliteration”.

What do you see in this “infinite” space and how do you feel?

Infinity Mirrored Room – A Wish for Human Happiness Calling from Beyond the Universe, 2020
Mirrored glass, wood, LED lighting system, metal, and acrylic panel
Ed. 1/5
293.7 x 417 x 417 cm
Courtesy Ota Fine Arts

These are some works by some of the leading female artists—although not all—in the 20th and 21st centuries. You are surely familiar with some of them! After leaving the Museum, you can share your thoughts about this tour with your friends and relatives!

We hope this tour has been an enjoyable and nurturing experience. Hope to see you again soon!

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