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Bernard (Tony)
Rosenthal

(1914–2009)

Year created: 
1997
Coriolis, A Bench, Bernard (Tony) Rosenthal
Click images for larger view

48" x 48" x 102"

Painted Steel
Lent by Paul S. Buddenhagen

No longer on view.

Tony Rosenthal's Coriolis, A Bench invites Sculpture Park visitors to sit, rest and reflect on their surroundings. The wide steel bench appears as a gigantic industrial bolt, book-ended by oversized star shaped washers and hydrant nuts. By monumentalizing a small, common piece of hardware, Rosenthal negates the bolt's functionality as a fastener and transforms it into utilitarian furniture. Playing with ideas of abstraction, representation, objecthood and functionality in art, Rosenthal proposes an intersection of these concepts within Coriolis, A Bench through a shift in scale. Painted in matte-black and composed of regular, repeating geometric shapes, Coriolis, A Bench also illustrates the artist's interest in the stripped-down language of Minimalism. The sharp regularity of the washer's points work to activate the bench with a potential energy of rotation that serves as a reference to the title of the sculpture. Coriolis, A Bench is titled after the Coriolis Effect, which is the small spin in the atmosphere resulting from the earth's axial rotation that produces a deflecting force to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and a force to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.

Bernard (Tony) Rosenthal was a New York-based artist  best known for the permanent public sculpture, Alamo, the monumental 15 foot rotating steel cube positioned in the heart of Astor Place in New York City, now internationally recognized as the "Astor Place Cube." Born in 1914 in Highland Park, Illinois, Tony Rosenthal created large, abstract sculptures that explored geometric forms for over five decades. In the words of the famous playwright Edward Albee, "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." *

*Albee, Edward, and Sam Hunter. Tony Rosenthal. New York, NY: Rizzoli, 2000

Removed from view in 2011.