This book is published by Magazzino Italian Art Foundation on the occasion of the exhibition Nivola:Sandscapes curated by Teresa Kittler with assistant curator Chiara Mannarino at Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring, New York, May 8, 2021 – January 10, 2022.
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First published in the United States of America in 2021.
About Costantino Nivola
Known for his large-scale architectural reliefs, Costantino Nivola (1911–1988) was a sculptor, painter, designer, and teacher. Born in Orani, a village in the Italian island of Sardinia, he worked with his mason father before taking up an apprenticeship with the artist Mario Delitala. In 1931, he won a scholarship to attend the Higher Institute for Artistic Industries at Monza (ISIA), where he studied under the tutelage of Marino Marini and Giuseppe Pagano, among others, and contributed to the Milan Triennale in 1936 and the Italian Pavilion at the Paris Exposition in 1937.
Nivola began his career in 1936 working as a graphic designer for the Olivetti company in Milan. In 1938, he and his wife, Ruth Guggenheim, a fellow student at ISIA, fled fascist Italy for Paris before emigrating to New York City in 1939, where they set up a home in Greenwich Village. Supporting himself as he could, Nivola eventually became art director for several architectural magazines. In 1948, he bought a farmhouse in Springs. Nivola’s first major commission was for the Olivetti showroom on 5th Avenue, and this was quickly followed by a series of large-scale commissions for architectural projects. Throughout his life, Nivola was also committed to art and design education, and held posts at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia University, Dartmouth, and Berkeley. He exhibited his non-commissioned work regularly in both the U.S. and Italy.