Happy birthday to Franz Kline (1910–1962), who was born on this day in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This influential Abstract Expressionist painter worked mostly in black and white, but later in his career he started adding color, like in this painting titled “Torches Mauve.” It may look like a spontaneous work, but Kline actually sketched and drew extensively before starting his paintings, and each gesture is very carefully thought out. The imagery has been compared to architecture and Japanese calligraphy—what do you see?
“Once your brush touches paper, you must finish the character, you have one chance. It can never be repeated or duplicated. You must commit your full attention and being to each stroke. Liquids, like ink, are elusive by nature. As sumi ink finds its own path through the paper grain, liquid finds its unique path as it moves through air.” – Shinichi Maruyama