Monday, December 27, 2010

Cincinnati art 5

So I took a Christmas break from this series, but I still have lots of photos from the Cincinnati Art Museum to share with you.

For some reason I usually enter the modern art rooms at this museum backward -- instead of coming upon them after a nice chronological jaunt through the impressionists and the cubists and the other early 20th century painters, I walk in through a long narrow corridor from the elevator lobby.  You sacrifice grandeur sneaking in this way, but in return you get to see the wonderful Franz Kline from a hundred feet away, framed by the doorways and waiting for you at the end of the road. I wish I had thought to take a photo of that view, but instead I just shot the painting itself.

And what a great painting it is.

Franz Kline, Horizontal Rust, 1960

Kline's signature modus operandi is his huge, bold black brushstrokes on white backgrounds, so it's a bit of a surprise to see that hint of pinky red in behind the black in this painting.  My brief research reveals that he started adding color a few years before this one was painted, and continued to do so until his death in 1962, but wherever these paintings are, I have either never seen them or they failed to enter my long-term memory.

Instead, my mental Kline gallery has pictures like this one, which I saw in January at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Franz Kline, Hazelton, 1957

But back to Horizontal Rust -- I was intrigued by the details of the brushstrokes, especially the dry brush effect between the bold black areas.  A beautiful painting, both from far away and up close.


  1. Kline has always been one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kline is also one of my favorites, although I've never seen one in person. So thanks for the personal view.

  3. What makes it so pleasant to look at these paintings? Maybe it is the rough and natural look of the brush strokes that give us this authentic 1:1 impression of the working process. I have always thought that the mood or situation or attitude in which the artist works will be transferred onto the spectator. This is concentrated, yet relaxed. --
    Thank you for visiting my blog today!