Franz Kline

Length: 7 Pages 1673 Words

Among the leading painters of post-World War II Abstract Expressionist movement, Franz Kline developed his own highly personal form of art based more on “spontaneous expression in abstract design of the artist’s psychic states.”1 Abstract expressionism saw representation as the exact opposite of their main aim in painting. “Formal issues” such as color, lines, and shapes without recognizable representation is what Kline, like many other abstract expressionists, strove to portray in their paintings. They were individuals that were foraging their own way into the art world. Mainly an artist of impact, Kline’s work was forceful and boldly dramatic, which characterized his aggressiveness and raw energy. Best known for his robust black-and-white abstractions, his zealous brushwork seemed to manifest the energy and gestures produced in the act of painting. In this paper I will argue how Kline’s unique form, also referred to as action painting, was affected by his background and other artists, how his work was not influenced or represented Chinese calligraphy, and why he should be set aside from other artists. The Pennsylvania native originally was a representational painter, that used a style mixed Continue...


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The way in which he used could produce a level of art that spoke with an eloquent language of linear thrust and balance. "I'm always trying to bring color into my paintings, but it keeps slipping away. "He was recognized as the leader of a "second generation of Abstract Expressionist painters, whose work belonged entirely to the new decade and had nothing to do with the Surrealist influences of the 1940's. 3 There were many factors that contributed to the success of Kline's paintings. Fascinated by color, he continued to experiment and became a sensitive and creative colorist. In response to a question by Katherine Kuh, Kline responded with this insight. He also influenced Kline in the way that he showed him that abstraction wasn't something that had to be accepted, that it was supposed to be out of the ordinary and unrecognizable. Up until the 1940's Kline painted urban scenes and figures in a conventional, realist style. In this world he has created a home that will set him apart from all other artists, a home that is invariably unique and distinct, and one that deserves to be looked at upon with reverence. Despite what the critics would say about Kline's work, he insisted that his work was totally western in origin and that it was more dependent upon value contrast rather than anything else. I don't decide in advance that I'm going to paint a definite experience, but in the act of painting it becomes a definite experience for me. A couple years after moving to New York, he sparked an interest in abstraction and reduced the elements of his old style. Similar artists such as William de Kooning and Jackson Pollack helped pave the road towards this type of abstract expressionism that Kline felt so attracted to. His concern for color came at the midpoint of his effectiveness as an abstract artist.