ZAMEK Culture Centre

Antoni Gaudí / 5.03-3.07.2022

Antoni Gaudí is one of the most outstanding, well-known and admired figures in the history of art. A brilliant architect, a visionary, an "architectural wizard". His modernistic, borderline  revolutionary architectural concepts and exceptional talent stirred, and continue to do so, huge emotions. The exhibition will showcase approx. 150 museum pieces (plans, models, drawings, sculptures, furniture, architectural elements, ceramics, photographs, video, mapping), from Spanish public and private collections.

This is the first such a comprehensive presentation of the Spanish architect's achievements in Poland and the largest one in Europe. Join us for a walk through Gaudí's astonishing world: from the La Obrera Mataronense cooperative project, through the Güell Palace and the Calvet, Batlló and Milà houses, to the Sagrada Família, his most famous work.

the curator: Charo Sanjuán Gómez
ZAMEK Culture Centre in Poznań, City of Poznań, Aurea Cultura and Art
Honorary patronage:
Embassy of Spain in Poland, Mayor of the City of Poznań,
Exhibition partners:
Veolia, NH Poznań
Media patrons:
RMF Classic, Anywhere, WTK,, Radio Afera, Onet
Graphics with the visual identification of the exhibition. On a yellow and orange background, in the very centre, there is the outline of one of Gaudí's most famous projects: Sagrada Familia. On it  - a large white inscription: Gaudí. The name of the architect is inscribed on the crowning of one of the towers. On the right, there are the dates of the exhibition, and on the side on the left - the name of the author of the identification, Ewa Hejnowicz.

© Foundation Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família / Pep Daudé

Accompanying programme

The accompanying programme of the "Antoni Gaudí" exhibition is based on four theme-based modules. In each of them, we wish to draw attention to a different aspect of this artist's work, thus enabling a wide audience to have an in-depth experience with his works. These blocks are based on expert and popular science lectures accompanying the exhibition. In addition to the conventional-style meetings, we offer the opportunity to participate in workshops and sightseeing tours.

The accompanying programme is mainly focused on introducing the idea of the exhibition and the uniqueness of Gaudí's art. We go beyond the descriptions of the exhibition and set it in the wider context of European culture, art and architecture. We study the contexts of Gaudí's work and the questions and doubts that may arise. We explore the phenomenon of Barcelona: the city where Gaudí used to work, and the historical sources of his inspiration. And finally, we look at the artist's contemporary legacy and what we can learn from him today.

1/ What was the world Gaudí used to create in? / 5 March.–7 April
The first theme of the programme is primarily devoted to the context of Gaudí's work. To look at the work of one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, one also has to take a look at other designers and their concepts for the urban development of the city, as well as Catalonia and the cultural conflicts that took place in that region. This will give us a starting point to talk about Gaudí's timelessness as an artist.

2/ Architecture and urban planning / 8 April - 28 April
The fundamental architectural theme of the exhibition will be extended with several aspects. During the first of the meetings of this module, we will learn more about Gaudí as a designer of the utilitarian forms. The second meeting the participants will get to know the architect Stanislaw Niemczyk, known as the 'Polish Gaudí', which will help to explore the search for the idea of sacrum in architecture. Accompanying exhibition in the Great Hall, entitled "Zamek Project", presenting design drawings of the building that houses the ZAMEK Culture Centre, will in turn be a local reference to the Gaudí-related objects shown at the main exhibition.

3/ Organic inspirations / 29 April -8 June
This module aims to reflect the similarities between the creations of nature and the ideas of architects. We'll be talking about spider webs, termite nests, snail shells and oracles and many other things. The world of organic inspiration will also be brought closer by an accompanying exhibition in the Grand Hall of the Castle: "The essence of beauty" (30 April-3 July). It will help you see the links between art and nature, while bringing you closer to the richness of nature's forms and colours.

4/ Barcelona: the city - the myth / 9 June -3 July
The last module revolves around Catalonia, Barcelona and, more generally, the urban space treated as a tourist object. The moment when buildings and entire urban landscapes cease to be spaces used mainly by inhabitants and become tourist spaces is a huge challenge for modern cities. One speaks of Barcelona as a mythical city, but also as a victim of its own success. In this module, we are going to take full advantage of the summer season by going out into green urban spaces and looking at them from the perspective of Gaudí - the park designer. We will also touch upon contemporary tensions between Catalonia and Spain.

Accompanying exhibitions

In order to bring both a counterpoint and some broader perspective to Antoni Gaudí's exhibition, we are showing two open exhibitions consecutively in the public space of the Grand Hall of the Castle.

"Zamek Project"
23 February - 27 April The Grand Hall
free access

The concept of building the residence for the emperor Wilhelm II in Poznań came to fruition in 1910. Since imperial times this Neo-Romanesque castle has changed hands several times and over the decades it has been filled with new functions, structural transformations, is formal and symbolical dimension, both in reality and in the world of imagination. Architectural drawings and models are a record of these changes. Past and yet completely up-to-date. Conceptual sketches, construction and execution drawings, inventories, functional diagrams, visualisations. Painted in watercolour, drawn with a pen, drawn on tracing paper, made of plaster, rendered in 3D programmes. The selection of projects shown at the exhibition is an opportunity to see the work of generations of architects, and to understand what was expected of a castle in the past and what we expect of it nowadays.

The curator: Maria Fenrych
The arrangement: Maria Fenrych, Wojciech Luchowski
Contextual consultation: Janusz Pazder, Maciej Szymaniak
Graphics: Ewa Hejnowicz

"The essence of beauty "
30 April -3 July The Grand Hall
free access

The aim of the exhibition is to show the connections between the world of nature and art. The presented photographs of insects, both from Poland and from around the world, give us an opportunity to fully appreciate the unusual creations of nature. The colours, forms and shapes of nature became a source of inspiration for artists and architects. There are two approaches to the exhibition. One aspect is simply taking the aesthetic pleasure from admiring these astonishing photographs. Reading the extended descriptions, on the other hand, will broaden your knowledge of the beautiful creatures presented and of the artistic contexts in which they may appear. These interdisciplinary texts were prepared jointly by a biologist and an art historian.

Curator: Agata Miatkowska-Gołdyn
Photographs: Bogusław Daraż
The concept, descriptions and artistic supervision: dr hab. Rafał Bernard (nature themes) of the UAM (Adam Mickiewicz University), Dr Agata Miatkowska-Gołdyn and Dr Dorota Żaglewska (art themes)

Ceramic workshops

Ceramic workshops are open for children, young people and adults. These workshops are artistic and practical, and during the workshop participants will make selected ceramic objects on their own. Gaudí was also known for his extremely beautiful and aesthetic forms known as trencadís. Work of this type requires time and skill, so the workshop will be open for a limited audience who will make their projects during two (in the case of children) or three (for adults) meetings, all of which are parts of the several hours long workshops.

conducted by: Dorota Piekarczyk

 "Gaudí's Lizards" - workshops for children 7-11 years old

12 March (1st meeting), 19 March (2nd meeting)
at 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Ceramics and Sculpture Studio, Room 21

Tickets: £35

We will visit the exhibition as part of the workshop to see Gaudí's works, make sketches and drawings. We will then mould the famous lizard figures to cover them with colourful glazes in the next class. The children's work will dry out and then will be fired in a ceramic kiln. During the second meeting, we will prepare colour designs of the figures. We will cover the lizards with colourful glazes. The projects will be re-fired and distributed to the participants.

"Tile composition" - workshop for children 12-15 years old
2 April (1st meeting), 9 April (2nd meeting)
at 4 p.m.- 6.30 p.m. Ceramics and Sculpture Studio, Room 21

Tickets: £35

We will visit the exhibition as part of the workshop to see Gaudí's works, make sketches and drawings. We will design a decorative tile inspired by the ones Gaudí used to make, then make one ourselves from clay. The projects will dry out and then will be fired in a ceramic kiln. During the second meeting, we will prepare colour designs of the tiles. We will cover them with colourful glazes. The projects will be re-fired and distributed to the participants.

"Gaudí's Mosaic" - workshop for people above 16
 7 May (1st Meeting), 14 May (2nd meeting), 21 May (3rd meeting )
 at 4 p.m. - 7.30 p.m. Ceramics and Sculpture Studio, Room 21

Tickets: PLN 35

4 June (1st Meeting), 11 June (2nd meeting), 18 June (3rd meeting )
 at 4 p.m. - 7.30 p.m. Ceramics and Sculpture Studio, Room 21

Tickets: PLN 35

As part of the workshop, we will visit the exhibition to see Gaudí's works. We will design a mosaic pattern. We will make the clay tiles necessary to create a mosaic. The projects will dry out and then will be fired in a ceramic kiln. We will prepare a colour solution for the project. The next step will be to cover the mosaic elements with coloured glazes. The works will then be fired in a ceramic kiln. We will assemble the mosaic on a specially prepared carpentry base. Lay grout and finish the mosaic painting.

Lectures and meetings

17 March at 6.30 p.m., the Balcony Hall / free entry
Maciej Szymaniak: "Architecture and urbanism of Barcelona: what was the context in which Gaudí used to create?"

At the turn of the 20th century, Barcelona was a dynamically changing and expanding urban organism, designed, rebuilt and decorated by the greatest architects and artists of the era. To better understand Gaudí's work, we will look at the urban framework within which he created, starting with Ildefons Cerda's urban redevelopment plan. We will also place Gaudí's work in the context of the works created by his contemporaries, such as Josep Puig and Cadafalch or Lluís Domènech and Montaner. We will look at how differently they drew on the same ideological and stylistic influences to create their own variations of what we call Art Nouveau, Neo-Gothic or Modernism.

24 March at 6.30 p.m., the Balcony hall / free entry
Prof. Alfonso Gregori: "Catalonia in Gaudí's time: modernisation, crisis of Spanishness and social conflicts "

 During the lecture, we will cover the political, social and cultural situation in Catalonia from the second half of the 19th century until the 1920s, the period in which Antoni Gaudí lived and worked. The modernisation project undertaken by the Catalan bourgeoisie, the crisis of Spanishness as a patriotic feature legitimising the integration of areas with different cultures and languages, and the most significant conflicts manifested in different areas of social life in Catalonia and Spain will be discussed. The main aim of the lecture is to show the close relationship between the work of the famous architect and the events that took place in his time.

31 March at 6.30 p.m., the Balcony Hall / free entry
Dr Witold Burkiewicz: "Gaudí's architectural masterpieces - timeless beauty"

The meeting will focus on three of Antonio Gaudí y Cornet's most eminent creations,  built in the Ensanche area of Barcelona based on the Cerdá Plan of 1859: Casa Calvet, Casa Batllo y La Pedrera (Casa Mila), These are examples of Nature-inspired beauty, both the rational and the timeless one.

7 April at 6.30 p.m., the Balcony hall / free entry
Prof. Barbara Łuczak: "Three approaches to Catalan literature"

During the lecture we will present a general panorama of the history of Catalan literature and reflect on the specific features of its development. We will focus on three particularly important moments in the history of this literature: the Middle Ages, a time of spectacular heyday, the period of modernism at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the era in which Antoni Gaudí lived and worked, and the second half of the last century. Discussing this topic will also provide an opportunity to include selected translations of Catalan literature into Polish.

21 April at 6.30 p.m., the Balcony Hall / free entry
Maciej Szymaniak: "Antoni Gaudí - the designer of functional art forms"

Gaudí - the architect is one of the most well-known European artists of the turn of the 19th and 20th century. And Gaudí - the designer? Was he an original visionary in this area, or did he fit in perfectly with the European trends of his era? During the lecture, we will look at the functional art forms designed by Gaudí and then compare them with the similar phenomena in our continent.

28 April at 6.30 p.m., the Cinema Hall / free entry
A meeting about the film "Niemczyk - the last architectural rebel"

The film "Niemczyk - the last architectural rebel" is devoted to Stanisław Niemczyk, the creator of extraordinary churches, an architect who earned himself the title of "Polish Gaudím". Along with the screening in the Palace Cinema, there will be a meeting with representatives of the "Architecture of the 7th Day" project. This unique publication is a comprehensive compendium of knowledge and analysis on the architecture of Polish churches built after 1945. In an officially unfavourable political system, more than 3,700 religious buildings, often very daring in style, were built, and the scale and form of the phenomenon is a worldwide rarity.

7 May at 11 a.m., the Audiovisual Hall / free entry
Dr hab., prof. Rafał Bernard of the UAM: 'Reading beauty - dragonflies and their insect relatives'
The beauty of nature has always attracted every human being, eliciting the sensations of the highest level and inspiring creativity. We would like to invite you to embark on a journey into the world of beautiful creatures - dragonflies and their insect relatives. The world of colours and forms, all beautiful on their own, but also because of the purpose they serve. This charming, sensible combination of both is the essence of their beauty.

14 May, at 4 p.m., the Balcony Hall
/ free entry
Agata Miatkowska-Gołdyn: "Nature (in) the Castle" - a walk

A walk in the spaces of the Castle gives us the opportunity to discover the threads of living nature in the stone and wooden interiors. Insects, plants, animals in realistic or symbolic form are references to the world of fields, forests and meadows. Why were they in the Castle, and why did they take these forms? The tour is led by the castle guide.

14 May at 17, the Balcony Hall / free entry
Dr hab. Bartłomiej Gołdyn: "The world of shells and their residents"

Molluscs and their shells have always inspired the human imagination. The lecture will answer questions such as: to what extent are the "architectural" inventions of molluscs comparable to what we can see in our buildings? How much diversity of adaptations is there in shell morphology of molluscs found in different environments, and what evolutionary sense is hidden behind them?

Dr Jacek Wendzonka: "Architecture on six legs"
Insect societies have emerged through evolution several times and autonomously. Each group of insect societies has different patents for creating different types of structures and buildings. Their main purpose is to ensure safety, protect stocks or improve living conditions. From simple corridors and chambers in the ground, to large anthills and hornet nests, to ventilated termites the height of houses. A history of the wax, paper and organic cement application.

21 May at 4 p.m., the Balcony Hall
/ free entry
Agata Miatkowska-Gołdyn: "Nature (in) the Castle" - a walk

A walk in the spaces of the Castle gives us the opportunity to discover the threads of living nature in the stone and wooden interiors. Insects, plants, animals in realistic or symbolic form are references to the world of fields, forests and meadows. Why were they in the Castle, and why did they take these forms? The tour is led by the castle guide.

21 May at 5 p.m., the Balcony Hall / free entry
Dr hab., prof. Paweł Szymkowiak of the UAM (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań): "Through the prism of a spider's web "

During the lecture, the audience will be able to learn about the possibilities that nature has given to  spiders by equipping them with a very precise mechanism of spinning, i.e. the production of threads used by these animals to create hunting webs, cocoons, enabling the process of reproduction, moulting and passive air dispersion (ballooning). The presentation will include the examples of different species of spiders and the spatial constructions that these animals can create. Also, you will be able to learn about the species that spins the world's most durable hunting net, the durability and strength of which surpasses the most physically resistant synthetic materials invented by man. The lecture will also include references to the yarn formation system and the biochemical and physical properties of this unique natural biomaterial. Another extremely important issue is the options of using spider silk in various aspects of human activity. Therefore, the discussion will also cover the issues relating to the use of yarn in medicine, textiles, pharmacology and the cosmetics industry. The author will also address the issue of imitating nature in human life.

Dr Wiktoria Szydło: "A living house on a leaf, or plant outgrowths"

Many insects know how to build nests or houses for themselves from different kinds of materials. Some insects and mites have gone a step further - the building blocks of their homes are living plant tissue. Surprising fangs, intriguing protuberances and tiny apples on the surface of the leaves - this is what these habitable structures, known as outgrowths, can look like. The plant produces them in response to a signal caused by insects and mites feeding or laying eggs. The plant, through its outgrowths, provides nutrients for its tenants in addition to its 'shelter' function. This is a fascinating example of the animals manipulating the plant architecture. During the lecture, we will view examples of outgrowths that can be commonly observed and learn more about how they are formed.

9 June at 6.30, online lecture
Kalina Błażejewska: "Why does Catalonia want independence?"

On 11 September 1924, the day of the Catalan national holiday, 72-year-old Antoni Gaudí was arrested. It was because he used Catalan in a discussion with a Spanish policeman, who did not allow him to enter a church for an anniversary mass. After Gaudí was released, he allegedly told a friend: "They asked me if I could speak Castilian, and I replied that I could, but I had no desire to and would not, because of their aggression towards Catalonia". Nearly a century later, Catalans are still being arrested for showing disobedience to Spanish authority. We will tell you what their distinctiveness is, the history of the independence movement and what liberal-left nationalism looks like. And also how Barcelona, ruled by Catalan opponents of independence, finds itself in a conflict between the Catalan and Spanish authorities.

23 June at 6.30 p.m., online lecture
Kalina Błażejewska: "The city in the shadow of the Sagrada, or the troublesome legacy of Gaudí"
Gaudí's extraordinary buildings are both a blessing and a curse for Barcelona. Shocking at first, over the decades they have become not only a classic of Catalan modernism, but also a landmark of the city and a true magnet for tourists. Today, you can't even walk freely in their vicinity, as they are always surrounded by crowds of visitors. They spend money in the city, but take away the space, silence and comfort. They fuel property speculation and force residents to move to the outskirts of the city. How much did Barcelona earn, and how much did it lose because of Gaudí? How is the local government trying to fix what mass tourism has damaged? And what would the city be famous for if it wasn't for the brilliant architect?

30 June at 6.30 p.m., online lecture
Agata Zachariasz: "The public park in the city from a historical and contemporary perspective"

This lecture will focus on the issues such as the 19th century park movement - the element and system, fashions and trends in park design, and Gaudí's masterpiece - the Güell Park. We will also examine the new challenges that contemporary urban parks are facing.

Programme accessibility

A large part of the accompanying programme is accessible to g/deaf and hard of hearing people: some lectures are translated into PJM (the Polish sign language) and all recorded lectures are subtitled. For visually impaired and blind visitors, the exhibition includes tactile objects and audio-descriptions. The pre-guide will allow people on the autism spectrum to experience the exhibition in a comfortable way. People with mobility difficulties will be able to use mobile seats that also can be used for support. The whole exhibition is placed in spaces without thresholds or narrow passages which could make it difficult to move around, for example for people in wheelchairs.


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