Franz Kline (Franz Jozef Kline) (1910 – 1962)

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Kline, Painting Number 2

Painting Number 2
1954 Oil on Canvas
Museum of Modern Art, New York 

Kline, Untitled

1957 Oil and Charcoal on Paper 43 x 55.7 cm 

Kline, Untitled

1948 Oil on collage on paperboard 71.3 x 56.4 in.

Franz Kline was an American, Abstract Expressionist painter, known for his bold mark making, which categorized him as an “action painter”. Though Kline spent most of his career in New York City, he was born in the small town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Kline attended a private academy as a child before moving to Massachusetts as a young man, to study at Boston University.

Kline, Delaware Gap

Delaware Gap
1958 Oil on Canvas 198.6 x 269.5 cm

Kline, Untitled

1948 Oil and Paper Collage 58.6 x 76.2

While receiving a formal academic and art education, Kline started spending summers painting in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Provincetown was known for its thriving art colony that attracted artists from all over North America. After Kline graduated from Boston University in 1935, he decided to continue his education in London, where he studied at Heatherley’s School until 1938.

Kline, Palladio

1961 Oil on Canvas 266.1 x 193.7 cm

Kline, Black Reflections

Black Reflections
1959 Oil and Pasted paper on paper
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kline soon returned to the United States, settling in New York City. The big city proved as an inspiring subject matter for Kline, who began painting urban scenes in the manner of Sloan or Glackens. By the end of the 1940s, Kline’s work began to become more abstract, as he was exposed to cubist and abstract expressionist painters.

Kline, Chief

1950 Oil on Canvas 58 3/8 in x 6 ft 1.5 in
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kline, Untitled II

Untitled II
1952 Ink and Oil on paper
Museum f Modern Art, New York

By 1950 Kline began to develop his signature style of seemingly spontaneous black and white paintings. Before making bold brush strokes on a final painting, Kline would tear through phonebook pages, making practice sketches.

Kline, In-text plate from 21 Etchings and Poems

In-text plate from 21 Etchings and Poems
1960 21.2 x 36.7 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kline, White Forms

White Forms
1955 Oil on Canvas 6 ft 2 3/8 in x 50 ¼ in
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kline, Untitled (Study for Mahoning II)

Untitled (Study for Mahoning II)
1960 Ink on Paper, Mounted on Board 36.8 x 40 cm
Modern Museum of Art, New York

Kline held his first solo exhibition at the Egan Gallery at 1950, where he soon gained recognition for his energetic and innovative paintings. After creating an extensive series of black and white paintings, Kline slowly began to reintroduce color into his paintings.

Kline continued to exhibit at the Egan Gallery several times in his lifetime. In 1962 Kline died in New York City, with a solid reputation as an American abstract-expressionist painter. His works are now in major American and modern art collections around the world. Do you think you own a painting by Franz Kline? Contact us. We are the Kline experts.