Franz Kline was an American Abstract Expressionist known for his distinctive monochromatic paintings. Employing black brushstrokes on white canvases, Kline created calculated compositions distinct from other artists of his generation. Born on May 23, 1910 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Kline studied painting at Boston University and illustration at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London during the 1930s. After moving to New York in 1938, he befriended Willem de Kooning, who introduced him to abstraction. Kline’s mature works, such as Nijinsky (1950) and Mahoning (1956), are characterized by thick layers of black and white paint, applied with aggressively energetic lines.
He died on May 13, 1962 in New York, NY of heart failure at the age of 51. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.