Outdoor Sculpture Collection

Leonardo Nierman

Flame of Friendship


(b. 1932)
Flame of Friendship
stainless steel
height without base, 10 feet 5 inches; base 25 x 35 3/4 x 35 1/2 inches
Gift of the Artist

Leonardo Nierman’s sculpture Flame of Friendship speaks to the artist’s close relationship with David and Carmen Kreeger. In the summer of 1957, the Kreegers visited Mexico City and met Nierman, then a 25-year-old emerging artist. Nierman had previously trained as a classical violinist and studied physics, and then business, before beginning to paint. Self-taught, Nierman was just starting to focus exclusively on artmaking when he met the Kreegers, who became great supporters of his work. They even held an exhibition of Nierman’s paintings in 1959 at their previous home on Fessenden Street. While Nierman is best known for his abstract paintings, the artist has also worked in tapestries, murals, and sculptures, which includes Flame of Friendship, gifted to the Museum by the artist in 2007. Created in stainless steel and reaching 10 feet high, the reflective sculpture interacts with the Museum’s surroundings, reaching upwards in intertwining shapes and swirling lines. Nierman found inspiration in natural phenomena, such as storms, flames, and volcanic eruptions, imbuing his sculptures with energy and movement. He also drew from his musical training in creating his melodious, abstracted imagery—a marriage of art and music that is right at home at The Kreeger Museum.


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