FALLING MAN/FLAPMAN STAINLESS STEEL SCULPTURE

by Ernest Trova (1927-2009)
U.S.A., 1970


27 ½" high; 12" Diameter of base

This sculpture is a study for the larger work in the collection of the Museo de Bella Artes in Caracas. The hinged segments in the upper torso are movable to produce variations of the sculpture's shape.

Ernest Trova was an artist whose signature creation was a gleaming humanoid known as "Falling Man," which appeared in a series of sculptures and paintings and became a symbol of an imperfect humanity hurtling into the future. Mr. Trova was largely known as a sculptor, but his “Falling Man,” a standard of Pop Art, began life as a painted figure, taking shape on his easel in the early 1960s. Faceless, armless, with a hint of a belly and, its name notwithstanding, of indeterminate sex, the figure struck a variety of poses, sometimes juxtaposed with other like figures, sometimes with mechanical appendages.

In October 1963 his one-man show, “Falling Man Paintings,” was the inaugural exhibition of the Pace Gallery on West 57th Street in Manhattan. The show sold out, with the works purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the architect Philip Johnson, and others.

In three dimensions, the “Falling Man” figure was made from different materials over the years - nickel and chrome-plated bronze, enamel on aluminum, stainless steel - and often, like the Oscar statuette, was polished to an industrial sheen. It was clearly a space age creation, a forerunner of C3PO, the golden robot in “Star Wars.”

Sold with Certificate of Authenticity from the Trova Studio.
Impressed E. Trova/ 3 - 8/ 1970/ figure of a man on the base.

Literature:
Udo Kultermann, Trova, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1977, p. 124, figure no. 85 illustrated.

$35,000 - Inv. #104