Bill Viola A Retrospective

David Trigg finds omissions and overload at the Guggenheim

By David Trigg

'First Light', from 'Going Forth by Day', video/sound installation, projected image cycle in five parts. Courtesy Bill Viola Studio

Guggenheim Bilbao, 30 June – 9 NovemberBill Viola was among the very first artists to exhibit at the Guggenheim Bilbao during its inaugural year, 1997. The museum’s arrival breathed new life into the Spanish city, kickstarting its postindustrial reinvention. Renewal and transformation are major themes for Viola, and so it’s fitting that this retrospective is included as part of the Guggenheim’s 20th anniversary programme. Yet for an exhibition claiming to offer ‘a comprehensive overview of Viola’s oeuvre’, there are some gaping…

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