The Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna presented the 2018 Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts to architect Yona Friedman. Awarded every two years, the €55,000 prize recognizes the laureate for their outstanding achievements in architecture and the arts that reflect Frederick Kiesler's experimental concepts and theories in the arts.
“Throughout his working life of over six decades [Friedman] has been uncompromising in rigor and visionary in his thinking,” the 2018 Kiesler Prize jury stated. “He has been enormously influential as a ‘feasible utopian’ architect, urban theorist, designer and teacher. Friedman’s concepts for architecture are closely linked to the dynamics of social structures and to the changing necessities of the users therein. These topics which he emphasized from the beginning of his work gained even more importance in the present days...”
On being named the 2018 laureate, Yona Friedman said: “But beyond gratitude, I am really happy that it was this particular Foundation that recognized my work. I knew some of Kiesler's work, from publications and from exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and I admired him and his ideas greatly. The first time I discovered his work was his presentation at the Surrealists exhibition, the catalogue of which I had read before even coming to Paris. I then saw his models of the Endless House, and understood the intention behind it, which I thought very close to the ideas which I was working on. There were so few artists and architects who were courageous enough to take a stand opposite mainstream architecture...”
A date for the award ceremony will be announced soon.
The 2018 Kiesler Prize jury featured: Pedro Gadanho, Director of MAAT, Lisbon; Rainer Fuchs, Chief Curator, Deputy Director of mumok, Vienna; Julia Peyton-Jones, Global Senior Director of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London; Germano Celant, Director of Prada Foundation, Milan and Curator at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Angelika Fitz, Director of Architekturzentrum Wien; Hani Rashid, President of the Kiesler Foundation; and Peter Bogner, Director of the Kiesler Foundation
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