Costantino Nivola, “Architectures,” 1981. Bronze, installation view.

Costantino Nivola

East Hampton, New York

The Drawing Room

Trained as a mason in Sardinia, where he was born and raised, Costantino Nivola (1911–88) embraced carving and casting throughout his career. Though this background equipped him with a profound knowledge of traditional materials and techniques, he never shied away from exploring a wide range of resources. Concrete and terra cotta were as much a part of his regular vocabulary as marble, fossil-embedded travertine, and bronze. His experimentation with materials, combined with a devotion to abstracted form, made Nivola a true Modernist. In 1939, he and his wife, Ruth Guggenheim, immigrated to New York City, and by 1948, they had settled in The Springs on Long Island, where they befriended neighboring artists, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, among others. In addition to an interest in Cubism, this connection to the Abstract Expressionists encouraged Nivola’s search for an individual symbolism rooted in abstraction, though he would never abandon figurative references for good. …see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.