Allentown Art Museum displays works by renowned abstract expressionist

December 1, 2012 by  

The Allentown Art Museum brings the work of a native son home in December and in January.

The paintings of Franz Kline, an artist known for his abstract expressionist paintings, will be on display in an exhibition called ‘Franz Kline: Coal and Steel’. The exhibition features 64 works by Kline, from both his early career and his later years. The paintings are a rare treat for art-lovers, as many of them have not been displayed before the public untilnow.

Kline was born in 1910 in the Northeastern part of Pennsylvania. His earliest paintings reflect his experience growing up in the coal mining region of the state. The paintings in the exhibition will include ‘Chief (Train)’ from 1942, a deep red and purple image of a locomotive. Imagery in other early paintings featured bridges and industrial sites.

Kline’s connection to the Northeastern part of the state was still evident even as he moved into the abstract expressionist style he for which he became known. Many of his paintings were named for towns and areas of Pennsylvania, such as ‘Scranton’ and ‘Delaware Gap’.

Dr. Robert S. Mattison served as the curator for the Franz Kline exhibition. Mattison is a professor of Art History in nearby Easton, at Lafayette College. The Allentown Art Museum has made use of catalog printing, with a soft-bound catalog features 90 colorful images of Kline’s work, as well as text from Dr. Mattison describing the phases of Kline’s work life.

The exhibition is up until January 13, 2012 at the museum, which is open five days a week, from Wednesday through Sunday.