Catalogue entry

Ernest Trova b. 1927

T00666 Falling Man 80 1963

Inscr. ‘E. Trova’ on back of canvas.
Latex on canvas, 54 x 54 (137 x 137).
Presented by an anonymous donor through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964.
Exh: Ernst Trova, Hanover Gallery, April–May 1964 (3, repr.).

The artist wrote (4 April 1965): ‘I haven’t organized a formal statement on my personal philosophy or on the interpretation of the falling man theme. I can say that I have, in a general way, meditated for a number of years on the nature of man; re/ man as an imperfect creature and his aspirations to overcome his nature. I might say the paintings show man as victim in various environments—some perilous, some placid. Perhaps the message in the paintings and sculpture might be—no matter what the predicament man finds himself in ... or how helpless he is in controlling his state of being ... he can act with intelligence and dignity and without hysteria.

‘I began the falling man series around 1960–61. They developed from assemblages I was doing at the time, I had been making sculpture all during this time. I showed the earliest paintings on this theme in Boston, Mass., Pace Gallery, April 1962.1 showed next at Pace Gallery, New York, 1963.

‘Falling Man 80, 1963, first shown at Hanover Gallery, 1964, was one of the last group of paintings done before I began to concentrate my efforts on sculptural aspects of the theme. In the future I intend to do both painting and sculpture.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.