The Filter of Reason: The Work of Paul Nelson

Exhibition, Main galleries, 27 March 1991 to 26 May 1991

Paul Nelson (1895–1979), American architect, film set designer, painter, critic, and educator, taught and practised architecture in the United States and France for over fifty years. Nelson was a central figure in the development of functionalism in the 1930s and 1940s, which rejected the Beaux-Arts language in favour of technological and functional expression. The Filter of Reason explores the extent to which Paul Nelson contributed to the exchange of architectural ideas between Europe and North America, playing a role in the growing internationalization of art and architectural theory and practice that began in the early twentieth century.

The Filter of Reason features more than 150 objects, including architectural drawings, models of built and unbuilt works, photographs, paintings and drawings. Also included are autographed letters representing more than forty years of correspondence between Nelson and Le Corbusier, André Malraux, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Buckminster Fuller, and others.

Organized by the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Curated by Joseph Abram, Kenneth Frampton, and Terence Riley, Columbia University.


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