Franz Kline: Coal and Steel

Franz Kline, Chatham Square, ca.1948, oil on canvas, 41 x 31 inches (Orr Collection. © 2012 The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Elizabeth Johnson reports on the exhibition Franz Kline: Coal and Steel at the Allentown Art Museum, PA, on view through January 13, 2013.

Johnson writes: "Highlighting Kline’s childhood and attachment to the industrial Lehigh Valley, Coal and Steel unites Kline’s early realism with his late abstraction, framing the artist’s development within the beautiful but harsh environment we still experience today... Several never-before or rarely-seen urban paintings that Kline made in New York following the Ashcan School and American Precisionist styles sparkle in the exhibition." Johnson continues noting that curator Dr. Robert S. Mattison connects Kline's early work with that of "George Bellows, George Luks and John Sloan, and sees it as foretelling the structure of Kline’s later abstract art. Seeing 'Lower East Side Market,' a lovely, prismatic urban scene made in the Ashcan style, together with 'Chatham Square (circa 1948),' made in the Precisionist style, reveals Kline’s broad search for meaningful subject matter and a personal style."