Heavy in Bilbao

These days Bilbao’s art fame rests mainly on Frank Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim, finished with 33,000 titanium sheets and containing eight of Richard Serra’s massive works from the series Torqued Ellipses, 1996-98. Gehry and Serra fit with a – rather macho – tradition of working sculpturally in heavy materials consistent with the Basque region’s industrial base. Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002) and Jorge Otieza (1908 –2003)  are the most famous Basque artists of the 20th century, but I found contemporary practitioners, too, on a recent visit.

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Pieter de Hooch and Everyday Life in Delft

Pieter de Hooch (the Dutch say ‘hoe-k’) was born in Rotterdam in 1629, but lived in Delft during the 1650’s, where he painted 40 of his 150 known works before leaving for Amsterdam in 1660, where died around 1680. In Delft now, only the second solo show ever of his paintings* aims to lift him ‘out of the shadow’ of Delft’s most famous son, Vermeer.

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