Untitled [Maquette for the Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, MO]

Costantino Nivola1963

Magazzino Italian Art

Magazzino Italian Art
Cold Spring, United States

Untitled [Maquette for the Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, MO] consists of seven panels of sandcast plaster. These were made in preparation for a large-scale commission for the facade of the Richard Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City, MO. Nivola completed the project in 1966, three years after he designed the maquette. The full-scale sandcast panels still grace the building’s exterior. The L-shaped portion on the right-hand side of the wall corresponds with the configuration of the large-scale commission. The two panels on the left-hand side, which follow the concave vertices of the wall in the gallery, recall the way that the panels wrap around the corner of the Richard Bolling Federal building. The large-scale commission is titled The Builders, indicating the artist’s interest in and admiration for construction workers. As the son of a stone mason, Nivola had an intimate understanding of the role that laborers play in any architectural feat. Each panel depicts a vignette comprising a configuration of abstracted figures engaged in various activities that invite the viewer’s imagination to come to life. The top panel of the L-shaped segment on the right, for example, appears to represent two figures in an act of exchange or collaboration while the third panel of the same section portrays a solitary character standing near a small ladder and facing a steep natural structure or architectural construction. These figures resemble many of the geometric forms and configurations we see in Nivola’s small sculptural works and large-scale commissions.


  • Title: Untitled [Maquette for the Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, MO]
  • Creator: Costantino Nivola
  • Creator Lifespan: 1911/1988
  • Date Created: 1963
  • Physical Dimensions: Left: 23 1/2 x 86 x 2 in.; right: 93 1/8 x 60 1/2 x 2 1/4 in.
  • Rights: Family of Costantino Nivola
  • Medium: Sandcast plaster (positive relief), 7 panels

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps