Son of a bricklayer, Nivola learns his father's trade and then becomes an apprentice of the painter Mario Delitala in Sassari. In 1931 a scholarship allowed him to study graphics at the Higher Institute for Artistic Industries in Monza. In 1938 his anti-fascist ideas and his marriage to the Jewish Ruth Guggenheim forced him to leave Italy for Paris and then for the United States. In New York he works as an art director for architecture magazines and becomes a friend and disciple of Le Corbusier. In his Long Island garden home in 1950 he invents the sandcasting technique, a method of creating concrete sculptures from sand matrices. His work, focused on the main themes of the "mother" and the "builder", revisits the popular tradition and prehistoric art of Sardinia in modern forms.
07 May 1911 , Orani
06 May 1988 , New York