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Nicola Tullio Pezolet

Chair, Art History
Associate Professor, Art History

 Nicola Tullio Pezolet
Availability: Office hours: Tuesday, by appointment. Please do not call or leave a voicemail message at the office. Instead, please contact via email to schedule a phone or Zoom call, or an office visit.


  • PhD (2013) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (MIT School of Architecture and Planning: History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art)
  • MA (2008) Université Laval, Québec (Département des sciences historiques: Histoire de l'art)
  • BA (2005) Université Laval, Québec (Département des sciences historiques: Histoire de l'art)

Academic Appointments

  • Concordia University, Montreal: Faculty of Fine Arts / Department of Art History (Assistant Professor, 2013-18, Associate Professor, 2018-present & Graduate Program Director, 2020-23)
  • Northeastern University, Boston: College of Arts, Media and Design / School of Architecture (Adjunct Faculty/Full-Time Lecturer of Architecture History and Theory, 2012-13)

Research & Teaching Interests

  • History and Theories of Architecture and the Built Environment in Europe and North America (19th-20th Century)
  • Modernism, Public Space and the 'Synthesis of the Arts'
  • Critical Historiography and Social History of Art
  • Cold War Cultural Politics
  • Christian Architecture, Art and Liturgy
  • Theological Aesthetics
  • Utopian Thought
  • Print Culture

Distinctions & Awards


  • Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky for Studies in Canadian Art collaboration grant (2019)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Development Grant (2016-2018)
  • Christopher Jackson Teaching Award, Department of Art History, Concordia University
  • Concordia University, Aid to Research-Related Events
  • Fonds de Recherche Société et Culture du Québec, Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs (2014-2017)
  • Concordia University Undergraduate Student Research Award (supervisor)
  • Concordia University Faculty Research and Development Program Award
  • Social Science Research Council, International Dissertation Research Fellowship, residency at the Maison des Étudiants Canadiens / Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (Paris, 2011-2012)
  • Canadian Centre for Architecture collection research grant (Montreal, 2009)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship (Cambridge, 2007- 2011)
  • Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture doctoral scholarship (2007- 2011) (declined)
  • MIT presidential fellowship (Cambridge, 2007-2008)
  • Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture master's scholarship (2006-2007)
  • Centre Interuniversitaire d'Études sur les Lettres, les Arts et les Traditions (CELAT) travel grant (Vancouver, 2006)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada master's scholarship (Quebec/Montreal, 2005- 2006)
  • Canada Millennium scholarship (Quebec, 2005)

Professional Memberships & Research Teams

  • Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada
  • Universities Art Association of Canada
  • Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art
  • Les lieux des savoirs photographiques: Archives, ateliers, récits, réseaux (FRQSC)
  • Material Religion Initiative (Concordia/Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture)

Teaching activities

Undergraduate Courses

  • ARTH 270 Icons of Architectural History
  • ARTH 283 The Life and Work of Le Corbusier
  • ARTH 362 Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • ARTH 371 Studies in Canadian Architecture 
  • ARTH 374 Architecture and Urbanism in Montreal
  • ARTH 400 Architecture and the "Synthesis of the Arts" (advanced seminar)
  • ARTH 450 Architecture and Utopia (advanced seminar)

Graduate Seminars

  • ARTH 633 Image Building: Art, Architecture, and Print Media
  • ARTH 633 Of Utopian Space
  • ARTH 639 The Cold War: Art, Architecture, and Global Politics (1945-1989)
  • ARTH 667 Art History, Religion and Spirituality: The Christian Imagination
  • ARTH 655 Art History MA Thesis Seminar
  • ARTH 810 Art History and its Methodologies/Séminaire Intégrateur (Interuniversity Art History PhD program, co-taught w/ Dr. Christina Contandriopoulos, UQÀM)
  • ARTH 804 The Utopian Imagination in Art and Architecture / L’imaginaire utopique en art et architecture (Interuniversity Art History PhD program)

Graduate Students

MA in Art History

Louis-Philippe Savard, Embodied Art of Dissent: An Examination of Pyotr Pavlensky’s Work and its Documentation (in progress)

Isabelle Burrows, Remembering, (Re)-Forgetting: The Politics of Historiography and Publicity in the case of Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern (in progress)

Lee Ehler, George Grosz’s Ecce Homo (in progress)

Agnieszka Frasunkiewicz, Drawing the Curtain: Feminism and Female Artists of the 1970s Polish People's Republic (2023)

Joia Duskic, L'oeuvre Maman de Louise Bourgeois: Vecteur de compréhension de la relation entre l'institution muséale et l'espace public (2023)

Jacqueline Grassi, teamLab Borderless: The Role of Play in Immersive, Interactive Installations (2022)

Nina Chabelnik, Modernist Architecture and Religion in the Soviet Union: The Case of the Palace of the Soviets and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (2021)

Lucile Cordonnier, Maurice Denis (1870-1943) and the Sacred Grove: Temporality in Fin-de-Siècle France (2021)

Christa Nemnon, Losing Sight to Gain Vision: The Eye in European Surrealist Painting (2021)

Patricia Pérez Rabelo, Collaborative Matter: Agency and Materiality in Barragán's Casa Estudio (2021)

Benjamin Peterson, Modernizing a Marginal Maritime Metropolis: The Emergence of Canada’s Postwar Planning Practice in Saint John, New Brunswick (2020)

Gabrielle Montpetit, Douglas Cardinal’s Circle of Life Thunderbird House: Lessons in Indigenous Planning and Architecture in Winnipeg’s North End (2019)

Lindsay Leblanc, Nicolas Schöffer and the Scattered Origins of Cybernetic Art History (2019)

Emily Bergsma, “Canadian Reject”: Melvin Charney’s Design for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 70 (2017)

Gillian MacCormack, The Art of Nation-Building: Two Murals by Charles Comfort (1936-37) (2016)

Nancy Webb, In Search of the New Sensibility: Susan Sontag Writing on Art in the Sixties (2015)

PhD in Art History / Humanities

Melanie Schnidrig, Constructed Atmospheres: Synesthesia and the Senses in Contemporary Art (convocation: 2024)
PhD in Humanities

Patricia Pérez Rabelo
Interuniversity PhD in Art History program

Stephanie Weber, Mobile Metropolis: Skyway Architecture in Calgary, Alberta (ABD)
Interuniversity PhD in Art History program

Rebecca Lemire, Decolonizing Design History in the Southwest: Indigenous Architectures, Cross-Cultural-Knowledge, and the Formation of American Modernism (ABD/withdrawn)
Interuniversity PhD in Art History program

Research activities

Current Research

Material Religion Initiative
(former working group funded by Concordia's Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, with Drs. Jeremy Stolow and Hillary Kaell)

"In recent years, the study of religion has undergone an important shift, as a growing number of scholars foreground the role of diverse forms of media, technology, material culture, and embodiment in research on religious experiences, practices, affiliations, and forms of public-making. Such research has generated new bases for studying key dimensions of religious life -- such as ritual practice, communal identity, knowledge formation, or ecstatic experience - in local settings, both historically and today. This 'material turn' in the study of religion has also facilitated the re-evaluation of a range of phenomena not always classified as religious but that merit comparison, from magic and occultism to politics, theatre, art, science, consumer culture and popular entertainment. Bringing together Concordia and Montreal-based experts in a variety of disciplines, this working group will explore how 'material' approaches to the study of religion (broadly defined) inform individual research projects and also provide new opportunities for comparison and debate."



Reconstruction and the Synthesis of the Arts in France, 1944-1962 (Abingdon, Oxon/New York, NY: Routledge/Ashgate Studies in Architecture, 2018).

Books Edited

Sites of Photographic Knowledge: The Book, co-editor with Eduardo Ralickas (Montreal: Artexte, 2022).

Volumes Edited

(assistant editor) Thresholds 41: Revolution! (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT School of Architecture and Planning, 2013).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • "From Automatisme to Automation: Jean-Paul Mousseau's 1962 Lumino-Kinetic Mural for Hydro-Québec," Journal of Canadian Art History / Annales d'histoire de l'art Canadien, vol. 37, no. 2/vol. 38, no.1  (2016/2017): 100-131. [Published in 2022.]
  • "God and his World: The Architecture of the Christian Pavilion at Expo 67," Research Notebooks/Laboratoire d'Étude de l'Architecture Potentielle, no. 3 (2019): 104-111.
  • "Art in Transnational Architecture: Paul F. Damaz’s Popularization of the Synthesis of the Arts, Between Europe and Latin America," special issue on Contemporary Latino and Latin American Art, ed. Olga U. Herrera and María C. Gaztambide, Diálogo: An Interdisciplinary Studies Journal (University of Texas Press/Center for Latino Research, Chicago), vol. 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 21-36.
  • "Etienne Gaboury, Vatican II and Catholic Liturgical Renewal in Postwar Canada," special issue Apocryphal and Apostolic Modernism: Connections between Religion and Architectural  Modernism, 1945-1970, ed. Rajesh Heynickx and Stéphane Symons, The European Legacy (Routledge), vol. 22, no. 3 (Winter 2017): 293-317.
  • “Spiritual Matter: Universal And Regional Forms In Étienne Gaboury’s Précieux-Sang Church,” special issue Kingdoms of God, Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and Urbanism, no. 2 (December 2015): 90-101.
  • "Bauhaus Ideas: Jorn, Max Bill and Reconstruction Culture," October (The MIT Press), no. 141 (Summer 2012): 86-110.
  • "Primitivism, Humanism, and Ambivalence: Cobra and Post-Cobra," Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics (Harvard University Press), no. 59-60 (Spring/Autumn 2011): 282-302. Co-authored with Karen Kurczynski, University of Massachusetts (Amherst).
  • "The Cavern of Anti-Matter: Giuseppe Gallizio and the Technological Imaginary of the Early Situationist International," Grey Room (The MIT Press), no. 38 (March 2010): 62-89.
  • "Signs of Inhabitation: The Critical Legacies of Patio and Pavilion," Thresholds (MIT School of Architecture), no. 35 (Spring 2009): 44-49.

Book Chapters / Exhibition Catalogue Essays

  • "Dionysus in the Democracy: Jorn Contra Le Corbusier," in What Moves Us? Le Corbusier and Asger Jorn in Art and Architecture, ed. Ruth Baumeister (Zurich/Silkeborg: Scheidegger and Spiess/Museum Jorn, 2015), 76-81. Translated in Danish as "Dionysos i demokratiet: Jorn Contra Le Corbusier".
  • "'Le Peintre Asgaer', the Popular Front and the Synthesis of the Arts," in Expo Jorn: Art is a Festival, ed. Karen Kurczynski (Silkeborg: Museum Jorn, 2014), 168-171. Translated in Danish as "'Maleren Asgaer', Folkefronten og syntesen af kunstarterne".

Online Publication

"The Village Polychrome, 1952-53," Canadian Centre for Architecture website, December 2009.

Book and Exhibition Reviews

  • "The Social Project: Housing Postwar France, by Kenny Cupers (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 76, no. 1 (March 2017):
  • "The SAAL Process: Housing in Portugal, 1974–76, exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2 May to 4 October 2015)," Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 70, no. 1 (2016): 180-181.
  • "The Allied Arts: Architecture and Craft in Postwar Canada, by Sandra Alfoldy (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012)," RACAR, vol. 40, no. 2 (2015): 161-163.
  • "On Architecture: Melvin Charney - A Critical Anthology, ed. Louis Martin (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2013)," Future Anterior, vol. 9, no. 1 (2014): 99-105.

Participation activities

Conferences & Lectures

  • “Exploring St. Boniface & The Architecture of Étienne Gaboury,” Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, May 25 2024 [in situ presentation and walking tour, w/ Jeffrey Thorsteinson]
  • "Âme, Présence, Ambiance Mystique: Roger D’Astous and Midcentury Ecclesiastical Architecture in Canada," Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, Winnipeg, May 24, 2024
  • "Un Esprit Nouveau dans un Corps Sain: Modernist Architecture and the Politics of Sports," ARTH 396: Art and Culture: Art and Sports/Play (Prof. Didier Morelli), Concordia University, March 28, 2024
  • "“Salvific Iconography”: Images of Miracles by Jesus and the Question of Typology," ARTH 362 Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Art Architecture (Prof. Anna-Maria Moubayed), Concordia University, March 27, 2024
  • "Les intérieurs d'églises modernistes comme dispositifs liturgiques," DEI 1511 Histoire du design d'intérieur (Prof. Olivier Vallerand), École de design, Faculté de l'aménagement, Université de Montréal, October 27, 2023
  • “The Postwar Debates on Experimental Art and Science, Paris, 1950s,” undergraduate class ARTH 380 Histories of Art History: The Histories of Art & Science (Prof. Farrukh Rafiq), Concordia University, March 13, 2023
  • "Québec and the Quiet Revolution: The Head Office of Hydro-Québec," Society of Architectural Historians annual conference tour, Montreal, April 13, 2023
  • "Gothic Architecture," ARTH 200 Perspectives of Art History (Prof. Steven Stowell), Concordia University, November 16-17, 2022
  • "Modernisme, oecuménisme et humanisme à Expo 67," doctoral seminar HAR 7005: Constructing Sacred Space / Construire l’espace sacré (Prof. Kristine Tanton),  Université de Montréal, November 15, 2021
  • “’The World Around Us’: Photography and the Humanistic Theology of the Christian Pavilion at Expo 67,” panel Photographic Narrative and Counter-Narrative in Architectural Histories, Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada conference, Halifax, May 31, 2019
  • "La Construction des Églises: Réflexions sur le Directoire Pastoral de la Commission Diocésaine de Liturgie de Montréal (1965)," (Re)connaissance de l’architecture religieuse au Québec, journée d'étude du CELAT, Université Laval, Québec, April 18, 2019
  • "Terre Nouvelle: Modernism, Humanistic Theology and the Didactic Publications of the Centre d'Animation Pastorale at Expo 67," Laboratoire d'Étude de l'Architecture Potentielle (LEAP), Montreal, April 7, 2018
  • "Lumino-Kineticism and the Postwar Years," Centre for Expanded Poetics, Concordia University, Montreal, January 26, 2018
  • "Plastique armé: À propos des vitraux et fresques lumineuses de Jean-Paul Mousseau," panel Art sacré et avant-garde: De l’art religieux à l’art civique, Expo 67 et les métiers d'art colloquium, Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, Montreal, October 22, 2017
  • "Secular and Sacred Light in the Work of Jean-Paul Mousseau," panel Craft and Public Art, Canadian Craft Biennial conference, OCADU, Toronto, September 16, 2017
  • "St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish at 100 (1917-2017)," panel Religious Architecture in Canada, Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake, May 26, 2017
  • "Le Corbusier: Architecture, Art et Politique Modernes," undergraduate course HAR 1425: L’architecture depuis les Lumières (1750-1950) (Prof. Christina Contandriopoulos), Université du Québec à Montréal, April 4, 2017
  • Panel "Utopia, Territory and Media Cultures / Utopie, Territoire et Cultures Médiatiques," Universities Art Association of Canada conference, Université du Québec à Montréal, October 27-30, 2016 (co-chair with Dr. Christina Contandriopoulos)
  • "Paul Damaz’ Transatlantic Network and the Historiography of Midcentury Modernism," Networked Art Histories, 1960s to the Present Day (in Canada and Elsewhere) conference, Concordia University, October 22, 2016
  • "Hydro-Quebec and the Cultural Legacies of the 'Quiet Revolution': On Photography and the Restoration of Jean-Paul Mousseau’s Lumière et mouvement dans la couleur (1962-2002)," panel What does Photography Preserve? Reification and Ruin in the Photographic Heritage of a Place Called Montreal, Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, Université du Québec à Montréal, June 7-10, 2016
  • "The Spirit of the Matter: Materiality and Metamorphosis in the Early Work of Étienne Gaboury," panel Churches: Past, Present, and Future, Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada annual conference, Regina, Saskatchewan, June 1-4, 2016
  • "Le Corbusier: Architecture, Art et Politique Modernes," undergraduate course HAR 1425: L’architecture depuis les Lumières (1750-1950) (Prof. Christina Contandriopoulos), Université du Québec à Montréal, April 4, 2016
  • "The Spirit of the Matter: Materiality and Metamorphosis in the Early Work of Étienne Gaboury," conference The Sacred and the Profane, CUJAH, Concordia University, February 13, 2016
  • "Colorful Montreal: Modern Architecture, Urban Life, and the 1960s Abstract Murals of Jean-Paul Mousseau," panel Geometric Abstraction, Op, and Kinetic Art in Transnational Perspective, College Art Association annual conference, Washington DC, February 4, 2016
  • "'La Culture Humaine': Utopianism, Teleology and Synthesis in Jorn’s Theories of Art and Architecture of the 1940s," Le Corbusier: What Moves Us? conference, Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, 19 November, 2015
  • "French Modern Architecture and Cold War Diplomacy, circa 1950," panel Reassessing the Cold War in Architecture and Planning, Society of Architectural Historians annual conference, Chicago, April 17, 2015
  • "Art et mobilier modernes à l’ère industrielle," Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, March 2, 2015
  • "Modern Art and Furniture Design in the First Machine Age," Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, March 2, 2015
  • "Edgar Pillet, Abstract Art and the Postwar Catholic Left: The Mame Factories in Tours," Forum des Professeurs, Université Laval, Québec, January 30, 2015
  • "Photography and the Documentation of Modernist Church Architecture in Canada," panel The Arc of Photographic Knowledge: From Representation to Experience, Universities Art Association of Canada, OCAD University, Toronto, October 23-26, 2014
  • "Le Corbusier et la 'synthèse des arts majeurs' comme fiction architecturale," doctoral seminar HAR 8001: La structure fictionnelle de l'œuvre architecturale (Prof. Marc Grignon), Université du Québec à Montréal, October 17, 2014
  • "Art and the Urban Environment, 1950s-1960s," undergraduate course ARTH 375: Issues in the Montreal Art Milieu (Prof. Johanne Sloan), Concordia University, September 24, 2014
  • "Modernism and Catholic Architecture, Before and After Vatican II,” panel Apocryphal and Apostolic Modernism: Forgotten Connections Between Religion and Architecture, International Society for Intellectual History annual conference, University of Toronto, June 27, 2014
  • "The Spaces of Religion and Identity," Afternoons at the Institute, Conversation with Dr. Tania Martin, Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Concordia University, February 5, 2014
  • "Art on the Assembly Line," colloquium BOOM! Growth, Form, Sustainable Bodies 1950-1967, University City London, London (UK), April 5, 2014
  • "The Postwar Territorialization of Neo-Plasticism," panel Referential Meaning in Abstraction, Universities Art Association of Canada, Banff Centre, October 19, 2013
  • "Couleur dans l'espace: Art mural, abstraction, biopolitique," followed by a public conversation with Dr. Yve-Alain Bois, Dr. Jaleh Mansoor and Melanie Gilligan, International Colloquium Max et Iris Stern 7, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, October 6, 2013
  • "Polychrome Architecture: Groupe Espace and the Renault Industrial Complex in Flins," MIT, Department of Architecture, April 2013
  • "Jorn, Second Futurism and the Italian Neo-Avant-Garde," Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, Denmark, March 11, 2012
  • "Rational/Irrational Production: The Bauhaus Idea," MIT, Department of Architecture, April 17, 2011
  • "Giuseppe Gallizio et la synthèse des arts: Entre utopie technologique et nostalgie préhistorique," Colloquium Les Apories de l'Art Total, Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris, France, December 15-17, 2011
  • "Modernist Polychromy in France," MIT, Department of Architecture, March 10, 2009
  • Research in Progress 2009, MIT, School of Architecture and Planning, March 13-14, 2009 (organizing committee member)
  • "Primitives of a New Sensibility: Futurism, Popular Art and the European Neo-Avant- Garde," International symposium Futurism at 100: To Measure a Century, Harvard University, April 16-17 2009
  • "Design, Education and Nueva Vision: On Tomás Maldonado, Max Bill and the 'Bauhaus Idea' at Mid-Century," Annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, Harvard University, March 29, 2009
  • "Hopes in Design: Tomás Maldonado's 'Scientific Operationalism' and the Architectural Culture of the Postwar Years," Study Centre lecture series, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, July 24, 2009
  • "The Cavern of Anti-Matter: The Techno-Primitivist Imaginary of the Situationist International, circa 1959," Universities Art Association of Canada, University of Alberta, October 23, 2009
  • "Signs of Inhabitation: Patio and Pavilion, London, 1956," Graduate colloquium Research in Progress, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, April 5, 2008
  • "Surrealism and Situationism's Cartographic Practices," Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, April 15, 2008
  • "Partez sur les Routes: Situationist Nomadism and the Anxious Legacies of Surrealism," Symposium Anxious Mobilities, Yale School of Architecture, April 12, 2008
  • "Le nomadisme et son rôle critique dans les publications architecturales d'après-guerre," International conference Bohemia Without Borders: The Production and Internationalization of a Literary Attitude, University of Toronto, 12 December, 2008
  • "Guy Debord and the Art of Cartography," Stanford University, French Department, November 13, 2007

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