Costantino Nivola (Orani, 1911-East Hampton 1988), one of the protagonists of Italian sculpture and graphics of the twentieth century, was a key figure in the relations between Italy and America. Exile in the United States because he was anti-fascist, he started a career as a "sculptor for architecture" which saw him collaborate with the greatest masters of Modernism. In 1954, his prominence for the Olivetti showroom in New York marked the beginning of the transatlantic success of Made in Italy.
Nivola's relationship with New York, the "incredible" and "wonderful" city that welcomed him in 1939 after his escape from Italy, deeply marked his work as an artist. Exciting, engaging and at the same time destabilizing, the urban landscape of New York is a metaphor for the human condition in modernity and postmodernity.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Nivola's relief for the Olivetti showroom in Fifth Avenue, created by the BBPR studio in 1954, a cornerstone of post-war Italian art and architecture and a symbol of a new approach to corporate communication.
23 meters long and 5 meters high, the monumental semi-abstract frieze, made with the sand casting technique (plaster sculpture from a sand matrix), was the central element of an installation that symbolized the Mediterranean sky, sea and beach . After the closure of the Olivetti store in 1969, it was relocated in 1973 to the Science Center of Harvard University, at the behest of the architect Josep Lluís Sert.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a faithful 1: 1 scale reconstruction was created thanks to the use of visual computing, 3D printing and videomapping technologies.With its 101 square meters of extension, it is one of the largest projects of three-dimensional reproduction of cultural heritage with robotic milling never made.