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Nivola in New York / Figure in Field

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the Costantino Nivola Foundation, and the Italian Cultural Institute of New York present Nivola in New York I Figure in Field, an exhibition of the work of Italian sculptor Costantino Nivola (1911-1988), known for his large-scale bas-reliefs, murals, and free-standing sculptural installations created in collaboration with architects.

The exhibition is the first-ever to tell the story of Nivola’s built New York City projects through maquettes and sculptures, original drawings, site-specific photographs, and related ephemera. The exhibition also features a timeline outlining 62 projects that Nivola made in collaboration with architects over approximately 40 years.

New York is home to the largest gathering of Nivola’s public artworks — 21 pieces across all five boroughs, at least 17 of which still exist. A free pocket guide will be produced for Nivola in New York: Figure in Field to encourage visitors to learn more about all of these works and see them in situ.

Born in Sardinia, Nivola was already a practicing artist in Italy before fleeing fascism with his Jewish wife and ultimately settling in New York in 1939. Eventually he and his family moved to Long Island, where he discovered and perfected his unique cement carving process and sandcasting that included reverse sculpting molds in wet sand and filling them with plaster and concrete. These processes allowed him to work with the materials often shared by the buildings he embellished.


On view from January 23, to March 15, 2020
Cooper Union – Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 7 East 7th Street, NYC (2nd Floor)

Opening Reception
Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 6:30pm
Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 2nd Floor
7 East 7th Street, New York

Gallery Hours
Thursday, January 23 – Sunday, March 15, 2020
Tuesday – Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-7pm
Closed February 14 – 16, 2020

  • Organized by: The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture-Costant
  • In collaboration with: ICI