Michael Gross began working on Trio in the late 1980s. He planned many different versions of the sculpture before it crystallized in early 1992 into a set of three units, which are each composed of a vertical, geometrical plane and an attached appendage.
In each of these units, the suspended contact between the form that rises upwards and the form that is truncated while reaching downwards endows the sculpture with a temporarily static quality. In Gross' work, the possibility of flight and expansion is always related to a fear of falling and of death. At times, the artist expresses this fear directly, while at other times it is expressed in a conceptual, minimalist manner.
The appendage, which appears to be on the brink of falling off, is slightly tilted sideways in relation to the vertical plane; together, the two units form a funnel of sorts, through which the space between them seems to pass. The narrow opening between the bodies, in the area in which they are closest to one another, seems to both suck the space inwards and to direct it back out, like the resonating chamber of a musical instrument that absorbs and resonates acoustic vibrations. In each of the work's three units, there is a tension between the stable part and the appendage, which appears to be still holding on to the vertical plane even though it has been torn off.
The austere industrial structure and the contrapuntal tension between the three units are reminiscent of Barnett Newman's Here 2 (1965). Trio is also a homage to Giacometti's earlier "City Square" sculptures, such as Three Men Walking (1948): the manner in which the appendage hangs off the vertical plane in Trio is reminiscent of the manner in which the limbs hang off the erect bodies of Giacometti's walking men, while the spatial distribution of the three units in Gross's work recalls Giacometti's carefully calibrated distribution of bodies in open space.