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Art Walk at Precision Toyota

Abstract oil on paper composition

Martin Rosenthal


Oil on paper

Martin Rosenthal was an American painter born in 1899 in Woburn, Massachusetts. He would become influenced by the movements of the early 1900s — an era of experimentation and the dawn of expressionism and various styles of abstraction. 

At the Modern Art Exhibition of 1934, Rosenthal’s work was singled out from among exhibited pieces by Chagall, Modigliani, Zorach, and Pissarro.

Rosenthal spent the greater part of his life in and around New York City, but traveled to Madagascar, Spain, and Japan. He primarily painted in the basement of a small home he shared with his mother in Queens, NY.

In time, his works began to grow larger in size and brighter in color. Eventually, he constructed some canvases almost too large to be removed from the basement. Many of Rosenthal’s works were never seen until after his death in 1974.

In this brief video, watch comedian and avid art collector Steve Martin describe how he looks at and appreciates abstract artwork from this era:

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