A WALK THROUGH THE MUSEUMS OF BILBAO
Currently, the city of Bilbao is one of the most influential artistic epicenters of the Spanish State, mostly since the Guggenheim Museum was inaugurated in 1997, which together with the Museum of Fine Arts form the most important museum binomial of the Biscayan capital. Both institutions are very close, only separated by gardens and located next to the Nervión River. I had the opportunity to visit the city last late December; I wanted to see some of the recent exhibitions offered by both museums. It was the Arcimboldo, Las floras y la primavera by Eduardo Arroyo, Le retour des croisades, at the Museum of Fine Arts, and David Hockney, Ochenta y dos retratos y un bodegón, in the Guggenheim Museum exhibitions. In Arcimboldo, Las floras y la primavera by Milanese painter Giusseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593), three works are exhibited that are in Spanish collections, being the first time that all can be seen together. One of the main contributions of Arcimboldo to the world of art is the singularity of representing human or allegorical figures through the incorporation of a multitude of objects, fruits, flowers, shells and animals in the portraits.
The exhibition of Eduardo Arroyo (Madrid, 1937) occupies several rooms of the museum. It is a large exhibit with more than forty pieces, including painting, drawing and sculpture, with a very unique technique, although collages from photographs are also present.
When one contemplates David Hockney, Ochenta y dos retratos y un bodegón, one feels absolutely seduced by it, both by the looks of the characters who seem to be observing us, and by the chromatic richness that each of the portraits give off. In fact, as a whole, it seems that the artist wanted to exhibit an enormous polyptych
divided into eighty fragments, although in fact he painted ninety portraits and here only eighty-two are exhibited, which fill the whole room.