(AMERICAN, 19142009)

House of the Minotaur, 1980
painted steel
78 x 264 x 216 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, gift of Tony Rosenthal, in honor of Judith and Adam Aronson

Tony Rosenthal's House of the Minotaur, 1980, takes its name from the ancient Greek myth of King Minos of Crete, who built a tortuous labyrinth where the Minotaur, a creature half-man and half-beast, was held. Here, a series of prismatic steel panels are arranged to form a playful maze, creating a public, participatory sculpture. The artwork embodies the artist’s sentiment for human interaction with the built environment by way of endless visual variation; the architectural puzzle is meant to provoke the viewer into an ongoing dialogue with the work.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Walk, But Do Not Climb


Tony (Bernard) Rosenthal was born in Highland Park, Illinois, in 1914. He earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1936, and he became the first sculpture instructor for the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1952. Rosenthal was a recipient of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Sculpture Award in 1950, the Ford Foundation Grant Prize in 1963, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Michigan in 1967. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, as well as in Belgium, Brazil, England, Finland, France, Italy and Sweden. Rosenthal’s work is in a vast number of collections, including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; he Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

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