Though limited in their palette, Franz Kline’s black and white paintings pack the potency and drama of an entire spectrum of color. A leading Abstract Expressionist, Kline (1910 – 1962) initially painted cityscapes and landscapes of the coal-mining region in Pennsylvania where he was born. Inspired by urban and rural landscapes, he later used housepainters' brushes to produce explosive black slashes on stark white backgrounds. Kline abandoned figurative works in favor of abstraction when fellow artist Willem de Kooning projected one of Kline’s sketches to enormous proportions, revealing only the powerful lines of the composition. Kline’s art profoundly influenced the next generation of gestural painters, and his works are among the most monumental achievements of Abstract Expressionism.