Ernest Tino Trova (American, 2009)

Ernest Tino Trova (American, 1927–2009) was a self-taught painter and sculptor, most famous for his Falling Man series. Born in a town just outside St. Louis, Trova lived his entire life in Missouri. After high school, he worked as department store decorator; upon observing Trova’s commercial work, art collector Morton D. May bought a painting, which was later donated to the Museum of Modern Art. In the 1960s, Trova created his first Falling Man: an armless, featureless figure that he repeatedly depicted in paintings and sculptures in a variety of configurations. Trova began exhibiting with the Pace Gallery in 1963, selling out his first show. Unlike many artists of his generation and fame, however, Trova did not live in New York City and made few friendships with other artists, though he did correspond with poet Ezra Pound. In the 1980s, he withdrew from the Pace Gallery to show in a local St. Louis gallery. His international reputation declined, but he remained active in Missouri, donating 40 sculptures to establish the St. Louis Laumeier Sculpture Park. His sculptures and paintings are also housed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Tate Gallery in London. Trova died in 2009 in St. Louis.


Born in St. Louis, MO
Represented by Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Died in St. Louis, MO


Documenta IV, Kassel, Germany
Falling Man Paintings, Pace Gallery, New York, NY

Public Collections

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Tate Gallery, London, England
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY