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Franz Kline

Franz Kline's “Untitled” is a seminal work of the artist's career, signifying an important turning point in the late 1940s that would formulate the crux of his artistic identity. In 1947, Kline moved his studio to East 9th street and became close to Willem de Kooning. Immediately, Kline was taken with de Kooning's Black paintings of 1946-1949. It is likely that this exposure contributed to Kline's new-found interest in abstract art. Elaine de Kooning explained that it was on the walls of de Kooning's studio in 1949 that Kline first experimented with his blow-up projections of ink drawings that would serve as the basis for the monolithic black and white paintings for which the artist is best known.

“Untitled” was purchased from the artist's widow, Elizabeth, in the early 1970s by art collector and philanthropist, Sidney Singer. Singer loaned the painting to the Guggenheim in 1978 and has been responsible for donating several of the artist's works to the museum's collection.


About the Zogbaum Papers – Franz Kline archive

Elisabeth Ross Zogbaum (1912-2005) documented, catalogued and accumulated materials related to the history of Franz Kline and his artwork. The Zogbaum Papers archive includes an inventory catalogue, with ZP# of Kline’s paintings and drawings, as well as documents from exhibitions, correspondence, notes, photographs, publications, clippings and artifacts. This archive was donated by Zogbaum to the Smithsonian Archive of American Art.