Franz Kline, who is best known for his work in black and white, was one of many abstract expressionists of his time, exhibiting in the Eagan Gallery in 1950. He was largely effected by artists such as Jackson Pollock through their works and through his friendship with Willem de Kooning. Later in his career, he managed to incorporate color as effectively as his forte, black and white.
Up until sometime in 1949, Kline's sketches for his paintings were rather small, measuring in inches. He drew on more than just small pads however, choosing to draw on what was on hand. Some of such were: napkins, the backs of bills, or menus. After a fated visit to one of his friends who was utilizing a Bell-Opticon to enlarge small sketches, Franz forever changed. He began drawing on canvas that measured in feet instead. This reflected in his works, as he began to paint increasingly larger scale.
Franz Kooning had to retire in the winter of 1961-62 due to a recurrent illness, which later claimed his life the following May. He was 51 when he passed.
Information from: Franz Kline Memorial Exhibition published by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art.
Image from: www.flickr.com from Nather Bowers' photostream