Bilbao and Painting at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, January 29 – August 29, 2021

“The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Bilbao and Painting, an exhibition that brings together a selection of paintings created by artists working in Bilbao in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who traveled to Paris and incorporated the ideas of modernism from French Impressionism and the Avant-gardes. At the turn of the century, Bilbao became one of the most prosperous cities in Spain, thanks to its naval, and iron and steel industries, and its commercial, banking, and cultural activity. There is, at this period, among the citizens of Bilbao a craving and an earnest wish to succeed and steadily advance towards a better future for all, a sort of empathy that unfortunately will be shattered with advent of the Civil War of 1936. 

The exhibition represents and conceptualizes different moments in the history of Bilbao through large-scale paintings that portray, among other scenes, the commercial ships in the river and the terraces given to leisure, the life of the bourgeoisie and the village folk, the rowers, the struggle and death at sea, sporting heroes, the daily tasks in a fishing port or the festivities in a Biscayan anteiglesia (village district).” — Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Adolfo Guiard. The River at Axpe (La ría en Axpe), 1886. Oil on canvas, 115 x 295 cm. Colección Sociedad Bilbaina
Adolfo Guiard. On the Terrace (En la terraza), 1886. Oil on canvas, 110 x 470 cm. Colección Sociedad Bilbaina
Adolfo Guiard. Hunters at North Station (Cazadores en la Estación del Norte), 1887. Oil on canvas, 116 x 310 cm. Colección Sociedad Bilbaina
Adolfo Guiard. Harvest (La siega), ca. 1892. Oil on canvas, 220,7 x 158,5 cm. Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. On loan from a private collection
Manuel Losada. Don Terencio and Chango, The Txistulari (Don Terencio y Chango, El txistulari), 1894. Oil on canvas, 195 x 220 cm. Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao © Manuel Losada
José Arrue. The Team of the Athletic Club (Equipo del Athletic Club), 1915. Gouache on paper, 52.5 x 103.5 cm. Colección Athletic Club Museoa-ren Bilduma © José Arrue
Aurelio Arteta. Arratian Eve (Eva arratiana), 1913. Oil on canvas, 152 x 286 cm. Colección Sociedad Bilbaina
Gustavo de Maeztu. Lyricism and religion (Lírica y religión), 1922. Oil on canvas, 200 x 350 cm. Colección Juntas Generales de Bizkaia © Gustavo de Maeztu
Aurelio Arteta. War Triptych (Tríptico de la guerra), 1937-38. Oil on canvas, part 1: 161.5 x 120.5 x 2 cm, part 2: 180 x 168 x 4 cm, part 3: 178 x 166 x 2 cm. Museo de Bellas Artes de Álava. On loan of the Fundación Juan Celaya Letamendi, Vitoria-Gasteiz
José Maria de Ucelay. Souletin Dances (Danzas suletinas), 1956. Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 270.3 cm. BBVA Collection © José María de Ucelay

Bilbao and Painting was curated by Kosme de Barañano.

Images courtesy Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.