Costantino Nivola (1911-1988)
Location: Ezra Stiles College Courtyard
Sardinian-American artist Costantino Nivola worked with architect Eero Saarinen to create thirty-five sculptural ornaments for Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges. Scattered throughout the complex, they mimic their surroundings in texture and color due to Nivola’s technique of casting concrete forms from sand molds. Curved indentations resembling fossils break their blocky surfaces to enliven each heavy mass, romantically suggesting age and endurance within a modern space. By uniting abstract shapes and natural materials, Nivola bridged the style of 1950s paintings by his friends Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning with the timeless atmosphere of the Italian village where he was born. The objects crouch and project like cubist counterparts to the neo-Gothic gargoyles elsewhere on campus.