(AMERICAN, 19272009)

Abstract Variation No. 5, 1976
painted COR-TEN steel
82 x 98 x 110 inches
St. Louis County SLC #063904

Ernest Trova's Abstract Variation series reflects his interest in the precarious balance of chaos and order. The artworks in this series vary in scale, from modest to monumental, and were made of either COR-TEN or painted steel. Abstract Variation No. 5, 1976, made of rusted cut COR-TEN steel, is a robust structure and an example of one of his earliest works in this series, illustrated by its bottom-heavy, angular composition.

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.