Public Art Legend
Rosenthal’s works challenged traditional notions of representational public art and helped to establish a new language for public art that embraced abstract forms and engaged with the surrounding environment, including its people.
Named public art legend by Sam Hunter, emeritus professor of art history at Princeton University and author of Tony Rosenthal, Rizzoli 1999 monograph, Tony Rosenthal created more than 100 public art sculptures in many of the largest U.S. cities. "I like to make public sculptures in which people can participate, that have a functional purpose as well as an esthetic one" Rosenthal told Grace Glueck, art reporter for the New York Times (June 27, 1980).
Diverse Body of Sculpture
Tony Rosenthal constantly explored sculpture, whether it be monumental in scale or just a few inches, in a variety of media including, steel, bronze, aluminum, brass, wood, and concrete. Tony enjoyed all aspects of art, and unlike many sculptors, Rosenthal resisted fabrication until meeting Lippincott. Rosenthal not only relished the process of creating art but was fascinated with the public's reaction.
Changing the Face of Public Art
Rosenthal's influence on the history of public art extends beyond his own work, as he also played a significant role in promoting and advocating for public art as a vital component of urban design. He was a founding member of the New York City Public Design Commission, which is responsible for reviewing and approving all public art and architecture projects in the city. Through his work on this commission, he helped to shape the policies and practices that continue to govern the development of public art in New York City and beyond.