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Description - Untimely Moderns: How Twentieth-Century Architecture Reimagined the Past by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen

A novel exploration of the idea of nonlinear time and its place at the heart of modern art and architecture

Through much of the twentieth century, a diverse group of thinkers engaged in an interdisciplinary conversation about the meaning of time and history for modern art and architecture. The group included architects Louis Kahn, Eero Saarinen, James Gamble Rogers, and Paul Rudolph; artists Anni and Josef Albers; philosopher Paul Weiss; and art historians Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Henri Focillon, George Kubler, and Vincent Scully.

These figures were unified by their resistance to the idea that, in order to be considered modern, art and architecture had to be of its time, as well as by the pivotal place that Yale University held as a backdrop to their thinking. The group sponsored a new kind of approach, one that Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen terms “untimely,” emphasizing a departure from a sequential course of events. Ideas about temporal duration, new tradition, the presence of the past, and the shape of time were among the concepts they explored.

With an interdisciplinary focus and original research, Pelkonen reveals previously unexplored connections between key figures of American intellectual and artistic culture at midcentury whose works and words would shape modern architecture.

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