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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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Exposición “Works” de Ignacio Uriarte

July 21st - October 16th, 2011. Sala Rekalde.

Info: Sala Rekalde

Curator: Javier Hontoria

Sala Rekalde is pleased to host the first individual exhibition at an institutional setting by Ignacio Uriarte, a young artist who has received unanimous critical and public acclaim in recent years.

The exhibition is a co-production with the Centre d’Art la Panera, Lleida, where it will be subsequently shown (2012.01.26 – 2012.04.15).

WORKS by IGNACIO URIARTE provides an overview of the work by the artist from the earliest days of his career. His work reflects the conceptual and minimalist tradition of the Sixties and Seventies which he approaches from a way that is decidedly his own.

Uriarte trained in the business world and worked for a multinational for years where he discovered first hand that artistic gestures, mainly painting and sculpture, could also be found in the grey fabric of an office.

During his artistic training, he came into contact with the post-conceptual work of the Nineties by artists of the ilk of Liam Gillick, Martin Creed, Gabriel Orozco and the Spanish Ignasi Aballí, and through them, he connected with the work of the first-generation of conceptual artists. The mark left by them is undeniable and many of their strategies are unequalled, which can be seen in the dematerialisation, self-referentiality and the systems, repetitions or permutations inherent to artists including the early Robert Morris, Hanne Darboven or Dan Graham.

Yet the conceptual is a language that Ignacio Uriarte manages to naturally subvert. In the first room of the exhibition, the works focus on the tangible, with shapes that are almost sculptures and which emerge from an interest in manual work. Systematic, precise, repetitive and serial, that is true, but manual and tangible when all said and done. Some of his paradigmatic works are thus here, including The A4 Cycle, one of his best known works, a table with an expanse of A4 sheets of paper rolled up to form cylinders, and thus creating a uniform surface that however reveals a certain chromatic cadence.

The manual work systematic is also present in the well-known Blocs, which provide a sort of landscape using bits of torn off paper, from successive pages and following a specific pattern. The work of Uriarte is a task that requires perseverance and care, but its mechanical nature does not shun poetry, as can be seen from those two works.

The time drift in any artistic fact is subject to careful examination throughout the work of Ignacio Uriarte. The second room contains works that explore a procedural dynamics through video works and installations. 60 seconds is a circumference, in the tradition of Richard Long or of Ian Wilson, produced using wristwatches that are synchronised so that when the hour is struck, their alarms ring successively around the whole of its perimeter. Other videos resort to serial and mechanical actions to set, in a clearly self-referential way, the rhythm that marks the gestation of things. Accumulative Clock is a good example of this premise.

As you make your way through the successive spaces of Sala Rekalde, you will see clear signs of an interest in the work tools that can be found in any office. There are rooms featuring works with inks and others where works produced using fluorescent markers predominate.

In his different projects, Uriarte tries to exhaust all the expressive possibilities offered by each material. His ideal habitat is fleetingness and the huge expressive wealth that he manages to extract from each of them is thus surprising. One good example is his Monochromes without Ink, drawings produced using biros whose ink has run out and where their constant and fruitless scribbling creates unusual surfaces.

And ink, whether by defect or by excess, is an essential element in any work. 80 Blots is a series of slides where you can see ink blots that fall on the paper after squeezing an ink cartridge. The action is mechanical and repetitive, and yet there are no two blots alike. When expanded, they occur in a joyful and precise cadence.

At the end of the exhibition, The History of the Typewriter recited by Michael Winslow summarises many of conceptual concerns of Ignacio Uriarte. At the request of Uriarte, the famous actor from Police Academy films produced the sounds of some historical typewriters. An apparently cold recording becomes a journey in time through the typewriter, a fundamental element to develop communication and language, aspects regarding which Uriarte does not hide his interest.

The artist

IGNACIO URIARTE was born in Krefeld (Germany) in 1972. He studied Business Administration in Madrid and Mannheim (Germany) and Fine Arts in Guadalajara (Mexico).

His most important exhibitions include the ones at Casa del Lago, Mexico City (ongoing), the MUSAC (León) or Kunstverein (Arnsberg, Germany).

He has recently taken part at the Turku Biennal (Finland) and has exhibited at Nogueras Blanchard (Barcelona), La Fábrica (Madrid), Gentilli (Prato, Italy), i8 (Reykjavik, Iceland), Taka Ishii (Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan), Feinkost (Berlin) and Espacio Marte (Mexico) galleries.

He won the GAC 2011 Prize (awarded by the Catalan Galleries Association) for the best exhibition at Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona in 2011.