Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
14 MAY 2019 - 15 JUN 2019
Tuesday to Saturday. 12:00 - 18:00
Palácio Sinel de Cordes
Free Admission
Curator: Antonia Gaeta

A.C.M., Arumugam, Adolf Wölfli, Alexandro García, Alexandru Chira, Beverly Baker, Carlo Franco Stella, Daniel Gonçalves, Eugene von Bruenchenhein, Georges Widener, Gianni Antonelli, Hassan, Jesuys Chrystiano, John Devlin, Kostia Botkine, Leopold Strobl, Prophet Royal Robertson, Titov Yuri Vassilievich, Welmon Sharlhorne, and Wesley Willis.


Set Design: Ramiro Guerreiro; Assembly: SetUp

Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection and Centro de Artes da Oliva
Additional info
Tuesday to Saturday

George Widener, Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, Photo © André Rocha

Visionary Architecture


Hosted by the cultural center of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Visionary Architecture is an exhibition curated by Antonia Gaeta developed on the Treger / Saint Silvestre Collection. The showcase is part of the parallel programme of the Art Fair - ARCO Lisboa 2019.

"Of the myriad of artistic fields you can cross in the Treger / Saint Silvestre Collection, among those occupied by mystics, psychics, self-proclaimed metaphysicians who tried to use art as a tool to access seemingly hidden realms, we cut out the aspect of the eccentrics, the makers and the visionaries, in an effort to reveal, through a parallel with the almost magical properties of gold, artists whose work pursued the perfection of the most sublime architectonic achievements. In the categorization and choice of works and architectural typology, we tried to showcase the intelligible diversity of drawings, either monologues, contemplations or solitary reasoning, with the purpose of making the understanding of the relation between natural and entropic components, beauty canons, diversity and organization more fluid. Ideal projects, architectures on paper, works that describe mental images and delusions associated with the desire to achieve ideal and perfect worlds, the dreamed home or city, in order to recreate a space or a form where they feel truly welcome.

In the exhibition, the visionary is an ideal; the impracticable a utopian perfection, a mental image dissociated from the physical nature of the real world, the occasion to rebuild the world as each artist believes it should be or, in any case, an invitation to discover and build their own narrative. Each showcased work is, at the same time, a synthesis of intellectual and formal construction, an expression of the relation between forms, the balance between colours, improvement and perfection. It’s in this regard that the golden number follows and challenges the construction of projects, scant prototypes capable of adapting to nomadism or indulging the fantasy of a flying or wheeled home, the union of imagination and function, the essential and the random. Hence, brilliant and unbalanced inventions emerge, perceptive challenges, an idea delineated in space made of physical relations between architecture and nature, heaven and earth. And also endless hierarchical relations, between the divine and society, with unsolved riddles inside claustrophobic spatial structures, a vision that encases the whole world and survives purely as artistic vision." Antónia Gaeta

The Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection 

This collection integrates more than a 1000 works of Art Brut, Singular Art and Contemporary Art. This specific nature turns it unique at the Iberian Peninsula. The Collection is one of the richest private collections in the world and englobes the classic Art Brut authors, such as Adolf Wölfli, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Giovanni Battista Podestà and Oskar Voll, as well as more recent discoveries, like Ezekiel Messou, Guo Fengyi, Giovanni Galli, Miroslav Tichý and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein.

Since 2014 the Collection has been open to public at Núcleo de Arte da Oliva in the city of São João da Madeira in Portugal. In 2017 the Collection has received the “Collector” award by APOM – Portuguese Association of Museology.

The curator

Antonia Gaeta (Italy, 1978) has a degree in Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Curatorial Studies from FBAUL and a PhD in Contemporary Art from University of Coimbra’s Colégio das Artes. Gaeta has developed research and exhibition projects with various cultural institutions in Portugal and abroad, and her texts have been published in art catalogues, specialised journals and exhibition programmes. For the Portuguese Directorate-General for the Arts, she was the executive coordinator of the official Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale (2009 and 2011) and at the Sao Paulo Biennale (2008 and 2010). In 2015, Gaeta was the deputy curator of the Angolan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, having since developed curatorial projects for the Treger/Saint Silvestre collection of Art Brut.

Closed on June 13th holiday bank.