Showing posts with label Guggenheim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guggenheim. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hockney at Bilbao's Guggenheim

Hockney at Bilbao's Guggenheim 
Tulips by Jeff Koons

The Puppy, by Jeff Koons.

 David Hockney: A Bigger Picture opened in Bilbao's Guggenheim last month and is scheduled to go on until September 30th. Some very impressive works here, some huge. Favourites would include Pearblossom Highway, the bright Yorkshire landscape series and the Grand Canyon works. There is so much of Hockney here, including video works, one would need to spend a week on this show alone. If you can't visit, the next best thing is to check it out on the museum's site.
The Guggen is featuring the work of important post WW2 artist Georg Baselitz who makes "whimsical nods to history" and uses a lot of name-dropping. All the paintings here, 16 large scale works in one room, are painted upside down. Okay for an occasional impact, say one or two at a time, but 16 together?

There is so much going on here, it is unreal. Found some rooms full of photographs. One thing that has disappointed me about the North of Spain is the amount of high rises here. Xavier Ribas highlighted them and the people who live there in his work while by contrast you have Cindy Sherman's lively portraits of younger Americans.

And so much more, including the large sculptural works of Richard Serra. Don't believe me? Just get on to that website and check it out. Fantastic.

And, of course, there is an Irish connection. The Spanish lady who sold us our tickets is married to a Dubliner and will holiday in East Cork this summer. Hope the weather improves for her, and for us.
More pics here

The Guggenheim (Bilbao) in Black & White

Star Lunch at Bilbao’s Nerua

Star Lunch at Bilbao’s Nerua
With Chef Aitor on the Nerua terrace.
20th June 2012, Wednesday
Didn’t expect to be getting a tour of the kitchen when I made an electronic booking for Bilbao’s Michelin starred restaurant Nerua earlier in the week but that’s exactly what happened within minutes of our arrival for lunch on Wednesday.

We were handed over to Chef Aitor who showed us their three work sections: Pastry, Meat/Fish, and one whole section for vegetables (which they regard as very important and source locally). We had a few nibbles before Aitor took us up to their exclusive terrace overlooking the Guggenheim in which the restaurant is located.

He explained how the “Guggen” has transformed the city, especially around here where it had been run down and ugly. Before it was an industrial city, now it is a tourist city, he explained. Could do with something transformative like this in Cork.

After that mini-tour, we were handed over to the waiting staff. No shortage here. Formal and so well coordinated, but friendly, even time for a laugh (most had good English), and the service overall was immaculate in a white room with subdued lighting and just one window, a big one, overlooking part of the museum and the Spider Mama. Lighting is discreet, behind hanging cream ceiling tiles. No art on the walls here. Only on the plates!

An Amuse Bouche that contained a little egg yolk, thin crisps and oil, was first up. CL’s starter was Baked White Onion, cod fish and pimiento verde (12). I had chosen the Anchovies, Bilbao style, with grilled onions (15). We were off and running, a very promising start.


Turbot, turnip, rosemary
 My main course was outstanding: Turbot with rosemary, pickled turnip (35). Perfection on the plate and on the palate. But I have to say, CL’s was something else, with a humble piece of pork elevated to a height I’ve never before tasted: Piece of Iberico Pork, with carrots and artichoke emulsion. Incredible, more than a match for the best of beef, the best of lamb.
Delicious pork

Potato, apple and lime

That pork was a highlight and then another came quickly in the shape of my dessert: Ashes of black olives, aromatic herbs and soft ice cream (12). A very unusual feel on the palate, quickly lifted by the liquorice in the herbs. The other dessert was a Millefeuillie of potato, apple and lime (11), also excellent.

There is quite an extensive wine list, with a strong local element, many at very reasonable prices. Our pick was a Rías Baixas Nora 2011 Albarino (26); we enjoyed it very much and lingered with it for a while after we had finished off the main meal and the little surprise that followed: a warmed chocolate boule with a cold centre and we were happy to oblige with the order to eat it with one bite!

You may see the full menu here  . The prices do not include vat of 8%. Total bill, including a bottle of water and the wine, came to €150.66.

Black Olive Ashes...