(AMERICAN, 19272009)

Profile Canto IV, 1974
painted COR-TEN steel
109 x 131 x 60 inches
St. Louis County SLC #063903

Ernest Trova's Canto series shows his progression from 2-D work into large scale sculpture. The word “canto” is defined as a division in a long poem. In Profile Canto IV, 1974, it is meant to emphasize that each sculpture in the series was a further study in Trova's exploration of his previous Falling Man series. The profile of Falling Man is the unifying theme, and as his work evolved, it gave closure to his previously purely figurative exploration of the subject. Profile Canto IV uses this shape as a landscape, a conceptual technique that anticipates his sculptural forms of the 1970’s. Here, the figure opens like a flower, and sections of the profile resemble a mountain range resting on a distant horizon. From the front, the sweeping curves appear to be totally abstract. Upon closer inspection, parts of the human body can be discovered and the search becomes a visual puzzle.

Ernest Trova’s gift of 40 artworks to St. Louis County in 1976 brought Laumeier Sculpture Park to life. Many of these works are displayed throughout the Park and the region, keeping Trova's legacy alive both at Laumeier and in the St. Louis community.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch


Ernest Tino Trova was born in St. Louis in 1927. Best known for his signature series, Falling Man, he considered his entire output a single "work in progress.” Trova continued his ad hoc art education, seeking out painter Willem de Kooning and poet Ezra Pound, whose dual influences heavily impacted the young artist’s developing practice and philosophy. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, he was among the most widely acknowledged sculptors working in the United States, resulting in invitations to exhibit in three Whitney Annuals, three Venice Biennales and Documenta 4 (1968) in Kassel, Germany. Trova's work has been exhibited in dozens of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Trova was represented by Pace Gallery, New York, from 1963 to 1985, which held his first solo exhibition in April 1963.