Publication

  • Untimely Moderns: Rethinking Time in Modern Architecture
    Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
    Author
    Yale University Press, 2019
  • GRANTEE
    Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
    GRANT YEAR
    2018

James Gamble Rogers, Sterling Memorial Library Under Construction, ca. 1928. Courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

The forthcoming book Untimely Moderns: Rethinking Time in Modern Art and Architecture discusses how a group of artists, architects, and educators helped re-envision modern architecture's relationship to time and history. The focus will be on a cast of characters who were at one point of their careers were affiliated with Yale University: artists Josef and Anni Albers; architects Louis Kahn, James Gamble Rogers, Paul Rudolph, Eero Saarinen, and Robert Venturi; art historians Henri Folic, George Kubler, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, and Vincent Scully; philosopher Paul Weiss; literary scholar Harold Bloom; and Everett V. Meeks, dean of Yale School of Fine Arts from 1922–44. All of them, in different ways, helped shatter the notion of singular modernity-driven pursuit of novelty and progress. This included investing forms with temporal multivalence and instability by repeating and recycling formal tropes and material techniques associated with other periods and places, which made time reverse its course, slow down and fold backwards, thicken and repeat its course. While the book unfolds mostly within the unique biotope and socio-cultural tropes of the Yale campus with its unique neo-Gothic architectural setting between a 50-year period between 1924–74, what transpires is a broader story of the many variations of being modern that existed with twentieth century architectural and intellectual culture.

Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen is an associate professor at Yale School of Architecture, where she teaches design, history, and theory of architecture. She is the author of three books: Achtung Architektur! Image and Phantasm in Contemporary Austrian Architecture (MIT Press/Graham Foundation, 1996), Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity and Geopolitics (Yale University Press, 2009), and Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment (Yale University Press, 2011). She is also coeditor with Donald Albrecht of Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (Yale University Press, 2006). Her next book, an anthology of twentieth century architectural exhibitions entitled Exhibit A: Exhibitions that Transformed Architecture, published by Phaidon, will be released in June 2018. Pelkonen received an MArch from the Tampere University of Technology, Finland, an MED from Yale University, and a PhD from Columbia University. Her scholarly work has been supported by Austrian Ministry of Science and Research, Finnish Academy of Science, Getty, and the Graham Foundation.