Scattered around Manhattan’s public spaces are Tony Rosenthal’s five minimalist sculptures, generally monochromatic and fashioned from Cor-Ten steel. In Midtown, Rosenthal’s bronzed cylindrical “Rondo” sits within a pedestrian plaza along Park Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. Formerly located in a below-grade commercial plaza closer to 59th, store owners complained that the sculpture blocked visibility from the street, causing them to lose business. As per their request, the sculpture was moved closer to 58th Street, now sitting in front of the New York Public Library.
While not as popular as Rosenthal’s popular Alamo, Astor Place’s rotating cubic centerpiece, Rondo’s subtle gleaming ornamentation remains pristine and by far the most polished of Rosenthal’s public sculptures. 45 years later, it still shimmers in the sunlight and distorts reflections of its viewers with Rosenthal’s odd geometric carvings.