Klaustoon pricks Pritzkers

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Here’s the latest Klaustoon, by Klaus, which heaps ridicule on the Pritzker Prize jury in its moment of crisis when laureate-to-be Frei Otto dies the day before the announcement, three days before the death of Michael Graves, the famous PoMo non-laureate. The response foreseen by Klaus was to put each nominee under medical investigation. Quite a macabre cartoon, but insanely hilarious. And there’s the constant rattling cage of the failure, thus far, of the Pritzker to recognize famed female architect Denise Scott Brown.

There is one weird note. Can anyone pick it out?

Click on the Klaustoon link above and you will see the cartoon in a format that can be enlarged with a click. Plus read all of the commentary that accompanies the cartoon.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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8 Responses to Klaustoon pricks Pritzkers

  1. Hey, tell me about it, Klaus. I hate it when that happens, as it does to all who work with information, even when it is incorporated in art as is yours.

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  2. Klaus says:

    What was the issue with Krier? (I missed that myself)

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    • Klaus, Leon Krier is a classical architect. His work is toward the left edge (so to speak) of the traditional, but it would be more than a stretch to call him a modernist. His fabulous cartoons are a study in the mockery of everything about modern architecture. I haven’t the foggiest idea what they were thinking. For the Pritzker jury to actually consider him would simply demonstrate its ignorance. He was the master planner for Poundbury, for God’s sake!

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      • klaustoon says:

        I hadn’t thought of it that way, although, to be true, I’d find it difficult not to label much of his work as Postmodern pastiche (his building near the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, for instance). In any case, I doubt that being a classical architect (even if he was, I mean) would disqualify him as a prospective recipient of the Pritzker Prize. Some time ago, I argued that the Pritzkers are not the Nobel Prize of architecture. They are the Oscars of architecture. That is: They celebrate celebrity.

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        • Klaus – the Bilbao “pastiche” is by Rob Krier (Leon’s brother) and Marc Breitman. I called it a “sublime blend of multiple styles” in a post, “New classical in ArchDaily!,” on the Edificio Artklass and five other buildings applauded for their “backward-looking” appeal in that journal. I suppose brother Leon can be considered postmodern to a degree. It would still be odd for the Pritzker jury to mention him as a possible laureate. Maybe a reporter covering the jury’s activities might have heard wrong and had no editor knowledgeable enough to ask the reporter to check again. Either that or the jury has a curious sense of humor. But even though the Pritzker fashions itself the Nobel of architecture it is really the Nobel of modern architecture – or, more accurately, as you put it, the Oscars of modern architecture. No looking back is allowed. The ArchDaily piece is hard to explain; perhaps it is part of an effort to erect plausible deniability regarding its pro-modernist prejudices in an era where even AIA seems to be running scared. (Again, why I do not know.)

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  3. Find the odd man out – Leon Krier.

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