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Distilled Avant-Garde Echoes: Word and Image in Architectural Periodicals of the 1920s and 1930s

Abstract : Since the 1980s, architectural avant-garde publications, seen as a laboratory for artists and architects, have given rise to numerous research projects. Although recent scholarship tends toward a more balanced interpretation of architectural publications of the interwar period than studies from the 1980s, most research on architectural books and journals continues to point out only the parallels, or even just the ‘alliances’, between the innovative visual form – typography and photography – of those books and magazines and the ‘new architecture’ they intended to promote: relationships between form and contents. This article tackles the issue of this historical and aesthetical convergence. It draws on a new generation of studies that takes into account photography, graphic design and texts, simultaneously, and focuses on their association in the space of the book. By examining several case studies, it brings to light relationships of texts and images di erent from those dramatic and disruptive ones elaborated by the avant-garde. This is done, rst, by considering a wider range of professional periodicals of the late 1920s and 1930s – both avant-garde and traditional – and second, by focusing more on the modes of perception photography introduced within the space of the book than on photographic or typographic experiments. The driving hypothesis is that in periodicals of the late 1920s and 1930s, even in those of a rather traditional form (L’Architecte, L’Architecture vivante, Quadrante), new modes of perceiving the space of the book as a whole gave rise to semantic associations generated by juxtapositions or e ects of distance between word and image. This article also puts into question the way two periodicals in particular, L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui and Casabella, both deemed ‘modernist’, integrated some of the lessons of contemporary typography and photography.
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-02563643
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 2:46:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 3:08:02 PM

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Helene Janniere. Distilled Avant-Garde Echoes: Word and Image in Architectural Periodicals of the 1920s and 1930s. Architectural Histories, 2016, 4 (1), ⟨10.5334/ah.211⟩. ⟨hal-02563643⟩

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