Franz Kline was Abstract Expressionist painter born on May 23, 1910 in Pennsylvania, USA. He studied painting and drawing and also drafting and illustration in school in his 20s and 30s. He started out drawing and painting in a realistic style that was probably taught to him during school.

Later, Willem de Kooning introduced him to abstraction. He then started experimenting on black and white drawings. This was the start of his signature style.


He used powerful black paint strokes on a white background. From his paintbrushes, it also made smaller lines and splatters adding to the effect of his pieces. His work had a very nice contrast. He usually worked at night with a bright light.

I think that his paintings are very interesting. Though I don’t usually like abstract styles, his work really caught my eye. I think it was because of his style with black and white and thick, rough brushstrokes. It’s very dramatic and bold.

One of his pieces with the clear woman figure really catches my eye. I love the roughness and the contrast between the thick strokes in the background and the thin strokes for the woman.




Grace Hartigan on Franz Kline (and Willem de Kooning): “It Had Nothing to do with Death”

Mahoning by Franz Kline