* 1910 Wilkes-Barre/Pennsylvania
† 1962 New York City
The American painter Franz Kline was born on May 23, 1910, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was one of the leading practitioners of abstract Expressionism in the United States. In 1931, he studied at the School of Fine and Applied Arts in Boston and continued his studies in 1937 at the Heatherly School of Fine Arts in London. Kline returned to America in 1938. In the 1940's, his works are extremely influenced by Expressionism and Cubism. In the 1950's, Kline changed his style, being influenced by Bradley Walker Tomlin and Wilhelm de Kooning. He presented large format, black and white paintings at his first solo exhibition at the Egan Gallery in New York. Nonetheless, his works remained true to the style of abstract Expressionism. Kline performed his striking paintings with verve. Beside his artistic contemporary Jackson Pollock, he was one of the most important representatives of action painting. Though his pictures remained abstract, he began using colors again. In 1960, Kline was honored in an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. In the years thereafter, Franz Kline succumbed to illness and died on May 13, 1962, in New York.