FRANZ KLINE (1910-1962) Title: Untitled, Medium: Mixed Media on Cardboard, Date: 1961, Size: 15 x 22 in. (Attrib.) Was an American Abstract Expressionist known for his distinctive monochromatic paintings. His use of broad black brushstrokes slashed through white canvases in calculated compositions distinguished him from other AbEx artists. Kline sketched out his paintings beforehand rather than adopting the spontaneous mark-making method of his peers. People sometimes think I take a white canvas and paint a black sign on it, but this is not true, he once observed. I paint the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important. 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. Upon moving to New York, he befriended Willem de Kooning who introduced the initially realist painter to abstraction. Kline’s gestural pieces, such as Nijinsky (1950) and Mahoning (1956), are characterized by thick layers of black-and-white pigments and signaturely aggressive, energetic lines. Kline died on May 13, 1962 in New York, NY of heart failure at the age of 51, the height of his popularity.