Bill Corbett on Franz Kline

Franz Kline, Painting Number 2, 1954, oil on canvas, 80 1/2 inches x 105 inches
Franz Kline, Painting Number 2, 1954, oil on canvas, 80 1/2 inches x 105 inches (Museum of Modern Art © 2013 The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York)

Poet Bill Corbett shares his thoughts on Franz Kline with Noah Dillon.

Corbett remarks: "I think he was after the dream of the abstract painters, which was to make drawing and painting one. For these guys — for him, Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning — it was to get the immediacy of drawing, to locate the viewer in that immediacy, and then to make it happen in paint. A work like this, it seems to me, is absolutely recognizable, because it’s a clear, firsthand apprehension of a reality. That communicates to me... He also, I think, wanted to give a sense of the moment, make you feel present. As you pointed out, he used house paint and the image is now getting lost: it’s cracking, yellowing, it’s a conservator’s nightmare. In a way, I think it’s too bad that conservators feel compelled to restore this painting to what it was."