Profile Canto 5-1

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Canto 51Artist - Ernest Trova
Born - 1927
Died - 2009
Origin - America
Year Built - 1976

About the Artist:  Ernest Trova was a self-taught artist. He began working in assemblage early in his career and held his first solo exhibition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis in 1947. By the 1960s, Trova had received national recognition for his "Falling Man" motif, a theme that dominated his career. The artist repeatedly denied that the Falling Man is a sort of Everyman of human experience. Trova contended that "Falling Man to me means man moving from one position to the other." The Falling Man, philosophically, is an optimistic view of human progress, perseverance in the face of setbacks. Wrapman, 1984, is one of Trova's many variations on the theme of the Falling Man.

The Falling Man motif figures prominently in the Profile Canto series, of which Wichita State University owns five: Profile Canto IV-A, 1973; Profile Canto A#9, 1976; Profile Canto L.L. #8, 1976; Profile Canto 5-1, 1976; and Profile Canto 5-2, 1976. Begun in 1972, the series constitutes Trova's first foray in cor-ten steel. The "profile" of the title refers subtly to the Falling Man, which is depicted in silhouette. However, the figure is frequently fragmented and hidden among the geometric elements of the piece, fulfilling Trova's aim to "synthesize both figurative and abstract sculpture." The artist places a literary spin on the series by adding "canto" to the title; canto, a major division of a poem, suggests that each sculpture is only a fragment of a much larger essay.

Trova followed with the Abstract Variation series, in which the works were created from scraps left over from the Profile Cantos. Abstract Variation A #10, 1976, is typical of the overtly geometric constructions.