Spectacular firework displays have made Cai Guo-Qiang one of the most popular Chinese artists worldwide. Now, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is showing his largest retrospective to date. The first station of I want to believe at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2008 was the museum’s most widely visited art show ever. Afterwards, the exhibition was presented in the context of the Summer Olympics cultural program at the National Art Museum of China in Peking.
The show, conceived in close cooperation with the New York-based artist, includes more than eighty works. One main focus are the works Cai has fabricated using gunpowder, called simply the Gunpowder Drawings; another are the Explosion Events—fireworks that have been detonated in more than twenty cities worldwide. But important installations can also be seen in Bilbao, including Head On (2006), his commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim in which 99 life-sized wolves storm against a glass wall. The work was popular not only among visitors, but also among critics: Cathleen McGuigan, art critic for the American magazine Newsweek, voted the attention-grabbing installation her "Favorite Cultural Moment" of 2008.
Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
3/17 – 9/13/2009