Tony Rosenthal's Cubes

Tony Rosenthal's Alamo on Astor Place, New York City

American abstract sculptor Tony Rosenthal is most widely known for his monumental public art sculptures, particularly his famous Alamo on Astor Place in New York City, also called the "Astor Place Cube" or simply "The Cube." Originally installed in 1967 as one of twenty-five temporary outdoor art installations organized by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Rosenthal’s Alamo became so beloved by residents that they successfully petitioned the city to keep it there permanently. 

Alamo measures 15 feet tall and is made of Cor-Ten steel weighing in at about 1,800 pounds. It appears, however, nearly weightless, the cube itself rotating on a hidden pole in its center. The scale and mass of the work reminded Rosenthal’s wife of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, hence its official title. Rosenthal went on to create different variations of "The Cube" over many years. The present work, a polished bronze version, was prominently displayed by the artist in the entryway to his home in Southampton. 

[Rosenthal's] objects instruct us, alter our perceptions, disturb and thrill us by their audacity, their wonder and their inevitability.

Edward Albee

40 Years of Lost City Arts

Jim Elkind, founder Lost City Arts—of one of the most influential design galleries in New York City—has design in his DNA. Elkind grew up in a modernist house full of mid-century modern furniture and spent many weekends traveling into New York with his mother, visiting museums and exploring the city. He fondly recalls her pointing up at the skyscrapers and their architectural details, encouraging and instilling in him a curiosity about his surroundings and an attention to detail that would go on to shape his future career.

The idea to open a gallery originally came to Elkind during a visit to the annual juried art show at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he attended college. The vetted show featured several hundred artists, many of whom, he realized, were extremely talented but would never make it into the mainstream art world. Taking a page from his entrepreneur father’s book, Elkind imagined opening a gallery in New York called the Gallery of the Unknown Artist where he would feature work by up-and-coming artists from universities around the country.