Description

    FRANZ KLINE (American, 1910-1962)
    Untitled (Abstract Composition in Green)
    Oil on canvas
    Signed lower right: KLINE
    Monogrammed verso
    10 x 8-1/4 inches (25.4 x 21.0 cm)

    Franz Kline was an American painter mainly associated with the Abstract Expressionists centered in and around New York during the 1950s.

    In the 1940s, however, Kline was particularly interested in the clown as subject matter. He painted a series of paintings of the dancer Nijinsky in the role of Petroushka. Kline identified with clowns, and the tragedy of life, and there was a clear element of self-portraiture in these works. His transition from figurative works into abstraction was also revealed during this period. This work, which appears to be closely associated with the Nijinsky paintings, is toward the end of that transition. The figure, although still somewhat recognizable as a clown, is nearly completely abstracted. His increased interest in the brushwork viewed as abstract texture is more evident here than in the earlier works. He is still using color to differentiate forms in this work, but has reduced the palette to one that is severely monochromatic.


    More Information:

    Kline met Willem de Kooning in 1943, and de Kooning would become a major influence to the work of Kline.  In 1949, the two painters projected images of small drawings on to the wall, resulting in images so large that the subject was entirely abstracted, and the focus of the newly created composition was the dynamic nature of the lines themselves.  Kline painted in only black and white for a number of years, most likely influenced by this experiment, but eventually re-introduced color into his work.

    His work was the subject of a major retrospective in 1968 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  In 1986, The Cincinnati Art Museum held an exhibition entitled, "The Vital Gesture: Franz Kline in Retrospect."  His work is also held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art  in Los Angeles, among others.



    Condition Report*:

    Overall in very good condition.  Some minor cracking in places throughout.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2008
    11th Thursday
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