Southampton based iconic American sculptor Tony Rosenthal (American, 1914-2009) curated and refined his own personal collection, both in the Rosenthal home and upon its Southampton, NY property, over the course of a half century.
Now, for the first time ever, the collection can be seen by art lovers everywhere. Roland Auctions NY in Glen Cove, NY, in collaboration with the Tony Rosenthal estate, will present the Personal Collection of Tony Rosenthal on Saturday, September 25th at 10 am (ET). The auction event will feature many very impressive pieces from the Rosenthal home in Southampton, NY. “We are grateful to the artist’s estate for the opportunity to bring this truly outstanding artwork into the public sphere”, says Bill Roland.
In preparation of the September 25th auction of the Personal Collection of Tony Rosenthal, three of his favorite pieces, “Lovers’, “Big Red” and “Mandala” Variation (From the Ring Series), went on display at this year’s Southampton Fine Arts Fair at the Southampton Arts Center September 2nd – 5th.
Tony Rosenthal and his wife Cynthia made Southampton their home for over 25 years. The artwork offered in this single artist auction constitutes Tony Rosenthal’s “private reserve”, his complete and intact personal collection. This artwork in the collection, spanning the early 1960’s through the 2000’s, also had the dual function of acting as “filaments” to illuminate or spark Tony Rosenthal’s inexhaustible creative exploration and experimentation with material, form, and light. These artworks have not been offered publicly before and are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in and celebrate the legacy of Tony Rosenthal’s essential and influential career.
The Estate of Tony Rosenthal, in line with the intentions of the artist himself, has directed that these sculptures should enter the public arena. Roland NY is pleased to be the sole conduit introducing the collection and will be working with the estate to represent the Personal Collection of Tony Rosenthal over the next five years. All pieces come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Cynthia Rosenthal.
Among his close friends, mentors, and benefactors, Rosenthal maintained relationships with an array of influential personalities including his longtime friend, legendary playwright Edward Albee, Carl Milles, Adolph Gottlieb, Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Sam Kootz, William Pereira, and Walter Chrysler among others.
Writing in 1999, Rosenthal’s friend, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and art collector, Edward Albee expressed his fascination with Rosenthal’s work “He (Tony Rosenthal) works in all sizes. His monumental outdoor pieces, set in landscapes or in busy city spaces, seem always to have been there. His more intimate wall sculptures and standing forms have a monumentality no matter what their actual size, and at the same time, a comprehension of what space is proper to them…Like all the important metal workers – like Stankiewicz, like Caro, like Serra, like Chamberlain – Rosenthal’s objects instruct us, alter our perceptions, disturb and thrill us by their audacity, their wonder and their inevitability.”
Featured throughout this Saturday, August 25th auction are many variations, examplars, and iconic works from small scale cast bronzes, to mid-size maquettes, and finally large outdoor sculptures, with one highlight being one of Rosenthal’s favorite pieces called “Lovers,” Brushed Aluminum relief sculpture with juxtaposed geometric forms, unsigned, date unknown. 80″ H x 103″ x 12″ (203.2 x 261.6 x 30.5 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal, Estimate $30,000-$50,000.
As many know, Rosenthal was possibly best known for his landmark 15-foot high rotating sculpture the “Alamo” cube on New York City’s Astor Place. He designed the piece in 1967, when it was accepted as the first permanent contemporary outdoor public sculpture by the City of NewYork. Other variations of the iconic cube included in this auction are Untitled (Tony Rosenthal’s Cube), Polished Bronze variation on the artist’s iconic cube sculptures, signed, circa 2008. 12″ H x 12″ square (30.5 x 30.5 cm.). This piece was the most prominently displayed sculpture in the Rosenthal home occupying the entrance foyer. From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate $5,000-$7,000, Maquette for “Alamo” Variation, Plywood, Estimate, Maquette variation for Rosenthal’s iconic “Alamo.” Plywood constructed cube mounted on single rod for rotation with square metal base, stamped, signed and dated “’73”. Cube: 12″; Stand: 5″ H x 5″ (Cube:30.5; Stand: 12.7 x 12.7 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate $3,000 – $5,000 and the Untitled (“Cube” variation), Black Painted Aluminum, revolving cube sculpture with four subdivided square elements of each side on metal stand, unsigned, circa 1980. Cube: 12″ H; Stand: 12″ x 12″ (Cube: 30.5; Stand: 30.5 x 30.5 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate $4,000 – $6,000.
Other highlights of the collection include “Big Red.” Welded And Painted Aluminum, Tony Rosenthal (American, 1914-2009). Large welded and painted aluminum free standing lattice sculpture, signed, circa 1998. 56″ H x 67″ x 24″ (142.2 x 170.2 x 61 cm.). This sculpture is illustrated in an earlier state in the book “Tony Rosenthal” by Edward Albee and Sam Hunter, Rizzoli, New York, 1999, on page 17. From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate$10,000-$15,000, “Mandala” Variation (From the “Ring” Series), circular painted wood construction with steel bolts, steel base and black and white accents, signed, circa 1994-95. 95 1/2″ H x 95″ x 20″ (242.6 x 241.3 x 50.8 cm.). Similar to “Mandala” sculpture illustrated in the book “Tony Rosenthal” by Edward Albee and Sam Hunter, Rizzoli, New York, 1999, page 22. From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate$7,000-$9,000 and Untitled, Polished Bronze skyscraper inspired polygon on a revolving base, unsigned, circa 1969. 15″ H x 14″ x 16 1/2″ (38.1 x 35.6 x 41.9 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate$1,500-$2,000.
Other pieces taking the spotlight include Untitled (From “Accumulation” Series), Welded, Tony Rosenthal (American, 1914-2009). Large welded, red and black painted, tubular steel free standing sculpture, unsigned, circa 1998. 98″ H x 48″ x 24″ (248.9 x 121.9 x 61 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate$8,000-$12,000 and the Untitled (From The “Ring” Series), large circular assembled and painted wood sculpture constructed with steel fasteners on a rectangular metal base, signed and dated “1992”. 71 1/2″ H x 71″ x 12″ (181.6 x 180.3 x 30.5 cm.). From The Estate Collection of Tony Rosenthal. Estimate $6,000-8,000.
Works by Tony Rosenthal are represented in dozens of important museum and institutional collections, among these are: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Chrysler Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, Guild Hall Museum, Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Princeton University, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, and Yale University. His sculptures are also found in notable corporate and private collections.
This auction of the Personal Collection of Tony Rosenthal is one of many Roland Auctions’ single-owner, specialized sales throughout the year, in addition to monthly estate sales. After more than four decades based in Manhattan, Roland Auctions relocated to Long Island’s North Shore, the historic “Gold Coast” in 2018.