Lessons in Modernism
Exploration of a friendship: Costantino Nivola, Le Corbusier, and the development of Le Corbusier's visual art
1st Edition, 2020
Text in English
184 pages, 123 color and 27 b/w illustrations
22 x 28 cm
In cooperation with Museo Nivola, Orani, Sardinia
Le Corbusier saw himself as much a visual artist as an architect. Yet his work as an accomplished painter and sculptor has only recently begun to be fully understood and appreciated. Sardinian sculptor Costantino Nivola met Le Corbusier in 1946 in New York City. “Corbu” was collaborating with Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer on the United Nations Headquarters, while Nivola had been living there in exile since 1939. Their encounter marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship. The architect would come to share the artist’s Greenwich Village studio while working on the United Nations Headquarters, and he also created two murals in the kitchen of Nivola’s East Hampton home in the 1950s. Over time, Nivola collected six paintings, six sculptures, and some three hundred drawings by his friend. Today, these paintings, sculptures, and drawings are held in various galleries and museums across Europe and the Americas. Le Corbusier: Lessons in Modernism tells the story for the first time of this remarkable collection, exploring its significance in the evolution of Le Corbusier’s visual art and its impact on the reception of his art in the United States.
Giuliana Altea is professor of contemporary art history at the University of Sassari, Italy, and president of the Fondazione Nivola in Orani, Sardinia, Italy.
Antonella Camarda is a postdoctoral fellow for contemporary art history at the University of Sassari, Italy, and director of Nivola Museum in Orani, Sardinia, Italy.