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Biography

Franz Kline was born in 1910, in Wilkes-Barre,


Pennsylvania.In 1931 he left home and went to
Boston to begin his training
Kline belongs to the movement of American Abstract
Expressionist painters.He was a member of the
second Abstract expressionist generation.
Franz studied painting in the Art Department at
Boston University from 1931 to 1935, and in the
Heatherley's School in London from 1937 to 1938.
Then he settled in New York, where he began to
paint views of New York, portraits and seated
figures.

New York
The term Abstract Expressionism is used to refer
to all types of non-geometric abstraction. Two
distinct groups:
- Colour Field artists worked with simple, unified
blocks of colour.
- Gestural or action painters like Pollock and
de Kooning who made use of surrealist
techniques of automatic art. Kline belongs to this
group.

Movement: Abstract Expressionism


and New York School

Influenced by Existentialist ideas, which emphasized the


importance of the act of creating, not of the finished object.

Surrealist background, inspired by the presence of Breton


and Matta in New York in the 1940s and by retrospectives on
Miro (1941) and Kandinsky (1945)

The Abstract Expressionists sought to express their


subconscious through their art.

Source: Abstract Expressionism, http://www.artchive.com/artchive/abex.html

Inspired by exhibitions of African and American Indian art in


1935 and 1941.

Romantic view of the artists, seeing their painting as a way


of life and themselves as disillusioned commentators on
contemporary society after the Depression and the Second
World War.

Tecnique
In 1949 de Kooning lent Kline a Bell Opticon
projector to enlarge some of his own drawings.
Kline took a small drawing of a chair and
projected this on to canvas on such a large
scale that it completely overlapped the edges.
The design became completely abstract.
He started a transition from figuration to
abstraction

Tecnique
Kline described the projection of the chair as such:
"A four by five inch black drawing of a rocking
chair...loomed in gigantic black strokes which
eradicated any image, the strokes expanding as entities
in themselves, unrelated to any entity but that of their
own existence."
Kline created paintings in the style of what he saw
that day throughout his life.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Kline

New York
In 1950 he began to make large scale
calligraphic abstract paintings in black and
white, which are some of his most important
works.
In this year he had his first exhibition at the
Egan Gallery in New York. Here he started to
be recognized as a leading Abstract
Expressionist.
1958 is when he started to introduce strong
colors into some of his works.

Style
Kline insisted that his works, despite
their nonobjective appearance, were
rooted in the world around him.
Often monochromatic, his canvases
featured slashing strokes of paint that
intersected to form complex shapes and
rhythmic designs.

Style
The titles of several paintings refer to places
that he knew as a youth in eastern
Pennsylvania.
Franz Kline achieved dynamic imagery through
thick, bold strokes of paint slashing across the
picture plane. By 1950, he had renounced
figuration and begun working on his
characteristic black-and-white canvases.

Meaning of his paintings


Franz Kline wanted to create paintings that reveal
what it means to be a painter.
For Kline, his brushstroke represents the basic
definition of a painting; that is, the mark of an
artist's hand on a surface.
He avoids using colors in order to emphasize
that this physical gesture is the most important
activity of an artist.
Kline deliberately leaves the impression that his
brushstroke begins and ends beyond the edges
of the painting. It is as if we are looking at a
magnified portion of something larger.
Source: Gallery Re-Opening Transforming the 20th Century Galleries www.dia.org/ collections/twenty-reopen/

Influences in Franz Klien work


One of his personal factors was the
illness of his wife (she suffered repeated
attacks of depression and schizophrenia).
His relation with Willem de Kooning
influenced him,especially after he gave
him the projector to enlarge his drawings.

Elizabeth at Islip
(Portrait of the Klines
Wife)
1945
Oil, chalk and ink on
paper
5 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches
(14.7 x 12 cm)
Ex-Collection:
The Artist
Private Collection until
2004

Feeling Blue
34"X24",
Acrylic

Cardinal,1950
79 1/2 x 58 1/2
inches
Oil on canvas

Ninth Street
1951
oil on canvas
60 x 78 in.

New York
1953
Oil on Canvas
79 x 51 in
Albright-Knox Art
Gallery, Buffalo

Suspended
, 1953
35 x 37
inches
Oil on
canvas

Vawdavitch, 1955
Oil on canvas

Orange Outline
1955
Oil on
paperboard,
mounted on
canvas, 38 x 40
in. (96.5 x 101.6
cm)

Mahoning
1956
27 in. x 24
in.

Study for Siegfried


1957
Ink and gouache on
paper
12 x 10 1/2 inches
30.5 x 26.7 cm
Signed, upper right,
in pencil: KLINE

Delaware
Gap
1958
Oil on canvas
78 1/4 x 106
1/8 in.
(198.6 x
269.5 cm.)

Siskind
1958
Oil on
canvas

C and O, 1958
77 x 110 inches
Oil on canvas

Meryon
1960
oil on canvas
236cm x 195.5cm

Untitled, c.
1960
The Haskell
Collection

Scudera,1961
110 1/2 x 78 inches
Oil on canvas

Conclusion
Franz Kline
One of the most important Abstract
Expressionists.
He has been characterized for his distinctive
black shapes on white backgrounds.
His works represent his energy, expression,
dynamism and anger.

Conclusion

"You paint the way you have to in


order to give. That's life itself, and
someone will look and say it is
the product of knowing, but it has
nothing to do with knowing, it has
to do with giving."
Franz Kline

Sources:
Franz Kline, September 24, 2004
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/K/kline.html
Franz Kline , September 24, 2004
http://www.acquavellagalleries.com/main/artist_bio.cfm?artist_id=144
Gallery, September 24, 2004 www.abstract-art.com/.../ g035c_kline_co.html
Looking at Abstract Art, September 24, 2004
www.sackville.ednet.ns.ca/. ../abs_analysis.html
Collections, North Carolina Museum of Art, September 24, 2004
ncartmuseum.org/.../ 20th/1950-2000/024_lrg.shtml
Franz Kline , September 24, 2004 borghi.org/ american/kline.html
A century of Artnewx photographs, Portrait of the Art World,
September 24, 2004 www.npg.si.edu/ cexh/artnews/kline.htm
Franz Kine, Wikipedia, September 24, 2004
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Kline
DEWAN, SHAILA What's So Great About Painting, September 24, 2004
http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/1998-10-29/art.html
Gallery Re-Opening Transforming the 20th Century Galleries, 24, 2004
www.dia.org/ collections/twenty-reopen/