Preview of 2024 activities
During the architectural enlargement process and the parallel museographic transformation, the Bilbao museum’s ties with its history and its future outlook have become the driving ideas around which its public activity revolves and is organised.
One focal point of the exhibition programme will celebrate several centennials which fall next year, such as the opening of the first Bilbao Modern Art Museum in 1924 and the birth of two of the most prominent personalities in contemporary Basque art, Néstor Basterretxea and Eduardo Chillida. At the same time, the Videoart programme with the BBVA Foundation, The Guest Work with the Santander Foundation and the Iberdrola-Museum Conservation and Restoration Programme will continue. Finally, within the line of research on collecting that started several years ago, a special event this coming year will be the exhibition on the artistic patronage of the Sota family.
Below is a summary of the exhibition calendar:
Is the outcome of a commission from the BBVA Foundation to the video artist Beatriz Caravaggio. Using a minimalist language, and taking a different angle than the plethora of existing works on the atomic bomb, this film creation examines the paradox between the capacity for analytical penetration and control that are the hallmark of scientific practices and the latent lack of control that stems from their social application in the absence of dialogue and debate on ethical, civic and environmental considerations.
Sponsor: Fundación BBVA
23 January–2 June
Néstor Basterretxea. Design and architecture focuses on the projects and creations of Néstor Basterretxea (Bermeo, Bizkaia, 1924–Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, 2014) in these two creative disciplines from the 1950s and throughout his extensive career. Curated by Pedro Feduchi, Pedro Reula and Peio Agirre, this show will bring together architectural collages, industrial and graphic design pieces, furniture, the documentary memory of the house-workshop in Irun built in conjunction with Oteiza and Vallet, utopian architectural ‘volumetries’ on paper, scale models of architecture and urbanism and photographs. All told, it will feature more than 150 pieces from the ‘Basterretxea kaleidoscope’, some of them radical, many of them pioneering and not all of them actually made.
28 February–26 May
The Guest Work is continuing its exceptional history of bringing to the museum works like the Shield of the Judgement of Paris and other historical sumptuary armour pieces from the Royal Armoury of the National Heritage (Madrid) which were produced in the foundry in Eugui, Navarra and acquired by Philip II during the sixteenth century.
Sponsor: Santander Fundation
12 March–16 June
Intermission 1924–1945 will commemorate the centennial of the opening of the Bilbao Modern Art Museum in 1924, directed at the time by the painter Aurelio Arteta. Years later, in 1945, it was housed in the Fine Arts Museum building, where the collections of both institutions would end up being combined in 1969. The exhibition will extend into sixteen rooms with works of art and documentation, much of it unpublished, which will explore key events in the museum’s history, like the acquisition of iconic works, the first exhibitions and the evacuation of the collections during the Civil War. It will also result in the publication of an exhaustive study on the topic by the UPV professor Mikel Onandia.
Starting 4 June
Will focus on historical collecting through a reconstruction curated by Javier Novo, Conservation and Research Coordinator. Specifically, it will share around fifty important works from this exceptional collection started by the Bilbao businessman Ramón de la Sota y Llano (1857–1936). Francisco de Goya’s extraordinary Witches’ Flight, lent for the occasion by the Museo del Prado, will serve as the chronological backbone organising works by Cornelis Van der Voort, El Greco, Luis de Morales, Eduardo Zamacois, Anselmo Guinea, Adolfo Guiard, Ignacio Zuloaga, Darío de Regoyos, Francisco Iturrino, Antonio de Guezala and Aurelio Arteta, among others.
18 June–13 October
Will close the BBKateak programme of rotating exhibitions with three rooms devoted to provocative formal comparisons between Eduardo Chillida and Godofredo Ortega Muñoz proposed by the historian Javier González de Durana. This face-to-face encounter between the two artists is reminiscent of the first solo exhibition the painter held in the Bilbao museum in 1957, and the fact that one year later Chillida earned first prize in the International Grand Prix in Sculpture at the Venice Biennale. This also marks the celebration of the Chillida Centennial, which the museum will extend in March with the loan of the monumental sculpture Place of Encounters IV (1973) from Chillida Leku.
Starting 26 June
Art to Touch
During the school year, from January to June, this pioneering programme will offer the schools in Araba this experience, which aims to raise the awareness and accessibility of art among people with visual disabilities. This year, a relief sculpture by Nemesio Mogrobejo is being added, the first sculpture among the works comprising the exhibition.
The BBK Art Route
Will hit the road once again to encounter visitors in public spaces. This time, the high-quality reproductions of artworks from the collection will be inspired by the theme ‘Childhood in art’.