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While contemporary Mexican architects of my acquaintance — and cultured Mexicans of a certain kind — sometimes affect weariness when the name Barragán arises as the inevitable emblem of the country’s high culture, you have only to check the Pinterest pages devoted to him to become aware of how Barragán’s cult abroad has grown in the years since his death in 1988.
Some obvious reasons are deducible from the graphic elegance of his structures and their seductive saturated “Mexican” colors. Perhaps, though, new generations are also drawn by instinct to the deep humanism expressed in the work of this undervalued genius, a man who cited as his personal pole stars ideals like amazement, enchantment, serenity, silence and intimacy.
Barragán said so himself in the acceptance speech he wrote when in 1980 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize, typically referred to as architecture’s Nobel.