Reference Entry

Kline, Franz

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00099390
Kline, Franz

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  • Painting
  • Installation Art, Mixed-Media, Assemblage, and Collage
  • 20th-Century Art
  • Art of the United States

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American, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania); died 1962, in New York.

Painter (including gouache), draughtsman (including ink), collage artist. Figures, portraits, interiors with figures, landscapes, urban landscapes. Murals.

Action Painting.

School of New York.

Franz Kline studied at Girard College, Philadelphia, at Boston University in the early 1930s and then at Heatherly’s School of Art in London. Back in New York in 1939, his sound grounding enabled him to teach, notably at the Pratt Institute and the Cooper Union, meeting on the way such artists as De Kooning, Motherwell and John Cage. Between 1940 and 1950, Franz Kline painted in the realist style the landscapes of Pennsylvania, portraits, townscapes, and took an interest in Daumier, Blake and Fuseli’s work. He derived an income from the portraits he did in pencil in Greenwich Village and the murals he painted for local taverns, memorably in Bleecker Street, but remained obscure until 1945. From that date his figuration became more allusive, his vision more sweeping, his lines more forceful and his subject matter exploded into dark or paler masses balancing each other out....

Reference Entry.  2688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Installation Art, Mixed-Media, Assemblage, and Collage ; 20th-Century Art ; Art of the United States

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