commercial oil-based paint on canvas
United States
Overall: 67 1/2 × 83 in. (171.45 × 210.82 cm)

“People sometimes think I take a white canvas and paint a black sign on it, but this is not true. I paint the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important.” —Franz Kline

 In the early 1950s, Kline used commercial paint and housepainters’ brushes to make a series of large canvases. His bold black brushstrokes created an impression of spontaneous movement and energy, which is why Kline became known as an Action painter, as did fellow artists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Although Kline’s paintings look as if he dashed them off, he usually made preliminary sketches in which he took care to balance opposites, including dark and light, energy and restraint, volume and line, and flatness and depth.

Signed and dated on reverse "Franz Kline 1955".
Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis
Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli-Turin. Franz Kline: 1910-1962, October 20, 2004—January 30, 2005.

Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg. Contemporary Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, September 30–November 15, 1987

La Tartanga, Fall d'Arte, Rome. Franz Kline, November 16, 1963
Collection of the artist; Purchased by Walter Gutman, New York; [1] Gift to Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. (H. Peter Findlay Inc., New York) by 1972; [2] Tarika Collection, Paris, France, by 1973. [3] (Allan Stone Gallery, New York). Peaches Gamble Collection, San Francisco. (Allan Stone Gallery, New York) by 1979; Purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sydney and Frances Lewis, Virginia, June 25, 1979; Gift to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in December of 1985.

[1] Letter from Walter Gutman to Frederick R. Brandt, dated February 20, 1980, confirms that Gutman purchased the painting directly from the artist.

[2] Letter from Olga Heming, Director if Alumnae/i Relations, Sarah Lawrence College, to Frederick R. Brandt, dated January 5, 1981, confirms this.

[3] Letter from Peter Findlay, of H. Peter Findlay Inc., to Frederick R. Brandt dated March 4, 1981 confirms that the painting was sold to the Tarika party in 1973. Findlay spells 'Tarika' as 'Tarica,' which could refer to the collector Alain Tarica. This has not been confirmed.
©artist or artist’s estate

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.