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Bilbao's commitment to artistic expression is intimately tied to the shift in the model of urban and economic development.

Not only is the Guggenheim Museum able to attract the most sophisticated contemporary art shows, but both the Fine Arts Museum and Bilbao Arte Foundation have also displayed a spectacular renewal, promoting programmes to produce and disseminate art of all types.


Art in the street

Wandering around Bilbao, one can enjoy works by artists who let their imagination fly, turning the city into a veritable open air museum.

Such artists as: Salvador DALI, Eduardo CHILLIDA, Jorge OTEIZA, Miquel NAVARRO, Manolo VALDES, Jeef KOONS, Louise BORGOISE, Vicente LARREA, and many more, offer a fresh and novel perspective to a number of sites around the city.


Urban Equipment

This section covers urban elements such as benches, litter bins, tree grates, street lights, bollards, bus-stops, signage, and so on.

Discover the city's identifiers, which more often than not go unnoticed.



The concept of design is so wide and varied that sometimes the boundary between art and other artistic disciplines becomes very thin, or even non-existent.

With design as its leitmotiv, this section is intended to be a hodgepodge of topics.


Bilbao Art District

Bilbao Art District is born, a joint initiative of the galleries, museums and art major agents of the city, with the participation, support and cooperation of the City of Bilbao and the Provincial Council of Biscay.




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Sculptures in Abandoibarra

Open air creativity is also part of the essence of Bilbao. The work of architect Javier LOPEZ CHOLLET, Memory Lane is a key element of the urban regeneration of the Abandoibarra district. This garden-museum aspires to join the pier area of La Naja, Ripa, Uribitarte and Olabeaga, offering a visit of the outdoor sculpture collection throughout the city.

Esculturas Abandoibarra 1


AUTHOR: Vicente LARREA (Bilbao 1934)

LOCATION: Euskalduna Conference Centre.

CHARACTERISTICS: 72 tonnes of iron.

Dodecathos or the Toils of Hercules by Vicente LARREA, who considered that this piece would best represent and praise the effort of the industrial workers of Greater Bilbao.

Weighing 72 tonnes, this sculpture of a human torso was placed at the entrance to the Euskalduna Conference Centre in 2001. Far from the original style of its creator, the arms are held high and are full of cavities.


AUTHOR: Salvador DALI (Catalonia 1904-1989)

LOCATION: Euskalduna Conference Centre

CHARACTERISTICS: over 5 metres high, approx. 2,000 kg in weight.

Measuring over 5 metres high and weighing around 2,000 kg., Dali created the mould for the Muse of the Dance in 1971, which was first cast for the Bilbao exhibit. Part of the Isidro CLOT collection, it is the only one in Europe, being one of two of its kind in the world.

The Provincial Government of Bizkaia acquired this piece thanks to a “donation” from Seguros Bilbao insurance company in exchange for taxes outstanding. According to Government sources, the approximate value of this transaction was 100 million pesetas (€600,000).

3. A LA DERIVA (ADRIFT) (2002)


LOCATION: Ribera Park near Euskalduna Conference Centre.

CHARACTERISTICS: Spatial composition based on curved, chromed steel bars, deeply inspired by industry.

This is a metaphor for erosion. The sculptor wants to pay homage to the shipbuilding and metal industry of the past. The Euskalduna Conference Centre does just that, symbolising the industrial past, its more or less splendorous beginning, its decadence and final days beside the Nervion-Ibaizabal River.

Transparent and looking toward the River, the Promenade, and the splendid iron façade of the Conference Centre, Adrift finds its instability and existential weight are supported. It aspires to be part of that memory, an aesthetic body from an epoch gone by. Its struggle to stay alive, progressive erosion and final days next to the River that witnessed its birth, this work remains a metaphor of an industrial age.

Constructed of 42 mm compact iron hoops, these designs in the air give us the sensation of falling with a loud crash from a height of 5 metres.

Esculturas Abandoibarra 2


AUTHOR: Angel GARRAZA (Allo, Navarre 1950)

LOCATION: Ribera Park.

CHARACTERISTICS: Concrete tiles with ceramic tiles and 100 tonnes in weight.

Sites and Places is composed of two compact concrete and ceramic tiles. One rests horizontally and the other one appears as though it had been knocked down.

The artist offers physical and anthropological relationships with the environment through the shape of the traditional Basque kaiku, wooden receptacles that were used to boil milk or make cheese. The familiar kaiku shapes are found to be close to the observer’s experience.

Transformed and enlarged, the capacity as container or receptacle has been eliminated. The repetitive circular modules on the skin-like surface strengthen the perception of powerful and pregnant shapes.

5. UNTITLED: (2002)

AUTHOR: Ulrich RÜCKRIEM (Germany 1938)

LOCATION: Churruca Pier, Ribera Park.

CHARACTERISTICS: 4 square metres of Bleu de Vire granite.

This structure is not a sole element, nor merely an object, but rather it leads to repetition, proposing a journey through its various elements. Its minimalist aesthetic, where less means more, intends to offer simple shapes and geometric volumes.

Constructed of granite slabs, its smoothly polished sides and rough, uneven flat top is reminiscent of an organic landscape. The other elements are distant and aligned but hardly distinguishable because they form part of the pavement.

In order to discover what game the artist is suggesting, we follow the imaginary bread crumbs on the ground, continuing along the pavement tiles. The first is just a plain surface square that is later divided and the next one in turn, until the last one has ten parts. The end result of the trajectory offers many natural geometric and functional suggestions for arranging space.

6. MAIA (2002)

AUTHOR: William TUCKER (U.K. 1935)

LOCATION: Between Deusto Bridge and Father Pedro Arrupe Pedestrian Bridge.

CHARACTERISTICS: Bronze piece and 3.5 tonnes in weight.

Maia, the name of the god Brahma, evokes a pregnant woman emerging from the earth. This biomorphic volume evinces the mobility of awakening by means of an uneven surface full of bulges and changes.