Born in 1914 in Highland Park, Illinois, Bernard Rosenthal earned a B.F.A. from the University of Michigan and from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Since 1960 he was known professionally as Tony Rosenthal. He is best known for his abstract public sculptures that explore various geometric forms, such as the cube. Quoting from Rosenthal’s personal website: “Tony Rosenthal Cube Sculptures are like a city, intelligent formation with secrets, hiding, balancing and finding in limitations all the possibilities of a mixed society. Within a Tony Rosenthal Cube, we see other shapes, planes, exposed creating steps or stairs, like a mountain difficult to climb. But climb we do, because it is the invention of clean geometry that makes man other than nature. It is our will.”
Called a “Public Art Legend” by art critic and professor Sam Hunter, Rosenthal has more works in museums and public places than Anthony Caro, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Serra, Richard Stankiewicz and Frank Stella. His impressive list of public sculptures dates back to his work for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, “Nubian Slave.” Rosenthal was the first professor of sculpture at UCLA, and while in Los Angeles, he completed several major public commissions and exhibited widely. Rosenthal moved to New York in 1960. His most famous work, “Alamo” (1967), was the first piece of contemporary outdoor sculpture installed in the city of New York.
Tony Rosenthal’s sculpture is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and at many other prestigious museums and universities.