Last Look

In the abstract

New at the Art Gallery, an "exuberant" Franz Kline painting.

 Yale University Art Gallery

Yale University Art Gallery

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“I love the way those two exuberant central black swaths grab and hold that composition together,” says Yale Art Gallery curator of prints and drawings Elisabeth Hodermarsky. She’s speaking of Untitled 1961, the Franz Kline painting shown here, one of six pieces recently donated to the gallery by the Seattle-based Friday Foundation. Four of these works are by Kline (1910–1962) and two by Mark Rothko (1903–1970), Class of 1925.

Hodermarsky says the Klines roughly represent the full arc of his career: “He begins as a figurative artist, with the Portrait of Nijinsky in the guise of Petrushka”—the earliest one of the four donated by the Friday Foundation—and “then the gift culminates with this fantastic work [Untitled 1961] on paper, created just one year before Kline’s untimely death at the age of 51.” Untitled will feature in an exhibit of mid-century abstraction, planned for 2022. But all six works will be on view when the gallery reopens, hopefully in late spring.

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