Franz Kline (1910-1962, American)

Franz Kline at The Great Cat in ArtFranz Kline (1910-1962, American) was an Abstract Expressionist best known for his black and white abstractions for which he was called “the black and white man”. Initially Kline was a realist, studying the Old Masters such as Rembrandt. However, after meeting and being influenced by Willem de Kooning, his abstract style emerged which used simplified forms based on locomotives, landscapes and mechanical shapes. His painting was termed as Action Painting similar to Jackson Pollock.

Kline grew up and went to school in Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, he attended and studied art at Boston University from 1931-35. He also spent a year studying at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London.

Franz Kline _ Cat _ Whitney Museum of American Art 1946-49

Cat, 1946-49
Whitney Museum of American Art

By 1939, his work was being recognized in New York. Throughout the rest of his life, he taught at a number of institutions such as the Black Mountain College and the Pratt Institute.

Franz Kline – Kitzker, ca.1946, Oil on canvas

Kitzker, ca.1946, Oil on canvas

Like so many other famous artists, Kline captured his cats in his works. As you will see from the works presented here, his style varies greatly.

Franz Kline – CAT, Circa 1947

Cat, Circa 1947


Franz Kline, Woman with Cat on Chair

Woman with Cat on Chair

Kline died young in 1962 of rheumatic heart disease.

Cat on a Chair, Franz Kline

Cat on a Chair


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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  1. Angela Diaz says

    Love your stories about the authors and painters who love their cats.. Thank you for this website. Cats are awesome!!!!

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