How to paint like Franz Kline – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

How to paint like Franz Kline – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

(jazz music) Voiceover: Around 1960, when Franz Kline
had started selling some paintings, making some money, he had been working almost
exclusively with house paint. Now, Sidney Janis, his gallerist,
didn’t like that idea so much, perhaps because he was
looking for fine art prices, not hardware store prices. What he did one night, was
to break into Kline’s studio, take all of the house paint and replace it
with Winsor Newton fine art grade paints. The next day Kline came in and said, “What is all this?” Took it out of there. Went back to the hardware store. Got some more house paint
and went back to work. Why was Kline so enamored
with house paint? Because it’s cheap. Because it’s kind of crass. Because it’s kind of consumerist. Because it’s not fine art. All of those are on the table. How about the material itself? Let’s take a look in the studio. Looking at the paint in the can, it looks quite different
from artist quality paint. It’s very, very fluid. It dries to a very, very hard very,
very flat and high glossy surface. Things that were all
very seductive to Kline, in addition to the viscosity
of paint that could be pulled across the canvas with
a brush with this paint, because it is such a low viscosity paint. (jazz music) Looking at Franz Kline’s painting
called “Chief” from 1950. You might be surprised to
learn that just two years prior to the making of this painting, Kline spent most of his time in the studio making figurative drawings and
paintings of things like furniture, chairs for example. Around that time, Kline visited
his friend Willem De Kooning. De Kooning invited Kline to
show him a new toy, a projector. Something that could enlarge
a drawing or photograph many, many times, up to
the scale of, say, a wall. Kline, at that time, was drawing
these chairs, if you will, on the pages of a phonebook. When he projected these onto the wall, he realized that they’re so large that
no longer could you see the chair. In fact, you couldn’t even read the
numbers and letters of the phonebook page. Instead, he abstracted black on white, or in that case yellow in the phonebook, abstracted images out
of his source material, again drawings and the numbers
and letters in a phonebook. What Kline saw was something that
looked a little bit like this. It was a transformative moment for Kline. He realized that the abstract
language that he wanted to pursue was based on that figure on ground, or in this case, black on white. (jazz music) When Kline decided that he was
going to become an abstract painter it did not mean that he
was done with drawing. In fact, this painting,
which looks very spontaneous, looks like it perhaps could have
been done in just half an hour, maybe even less, actually was the result
of careful studies. Kline made abstract sketches and then quite carefully
transferred those sketches onto this large scale painting, again with fast dripping enamel paint. (jazz music) It’s still one layer more complicated because this is not simply black on white. This is actually black on white, but then white back on top of the black, black back on top of the white again. It’s an iterative process. Giving and going, if you will,
between these two colors. One step further, we’re not
talking about just one color white. If we look here, we have kind
of a cool, crisp looking white. If we look here, we find
a much warmer white color. Paintings like this are often
referred to as action paintings, because we can almost imagine
the painter as a kind of dancer whose movements in front of the
canvas are recorded in time and space. (jazz music)

59 thoughts on “How to paint like Franz Kline – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

  1. una payasada, como se dice aqui en argentina , sinceramente, una falta de respeto , a los grandes artistas, ue pintan de verdad, y no acen ver en sus obras, lo que vemos naturalmente, que suerte que ienen si venden estos mamarrachos, diganme como se hace para vender los mios que tienen una imagen diferente a estas rediculeces

  2. vaya patata de cuadro que pinta el señor que nos explica la tecnica,desde luego estoy de acuerdo con bocha 8601,si FRANZ KLINE levantara la cabeza……………

  3. Guid : scottish word meaning it may be abstract or figurative – I DON'T GIVE A MONKEY'S BUT IT WARMS MY BRAIN aroony.

  4. this exactly demonstrates why i simultaneously love and hate abstract painters…no group of painters did more to alienate the public and also demystify painting…so torn. this guy is a total nerd tho 😉 haha

  5. The painting is nice black/white but the explanation of the painting is absurd. Everyone who paints knows it's not difficult to make art like that. And it's normal that you have different colours of white, as you also have different colours of black when you go over the painting again, but it's nothing special.

  6. You are all wrong. These are amazing. Go and see it, it's in Tate Modern. Or paint one for yourself – it's more rewarding than whining about it in a comments section.

  7. Please, please, please, do NOT judge art based on images you see on the Internet for in some art book.  If you have not actually see the art in real life, you should really just shut up.  Because you're making fools of yourselves.  Your computer screen cannot show you the texture, nor can it accurately relate the colors.  I had seen Van Gogh in America, but it wasn't until I saw numerous examples of his work in Europe that it really set in.  In London, they have what I call the Van Gogh corner, and it's amazing.  Go to Paris.  The Mona Lisa looks nothing like it does in popular culture.  She's staring at you accusatively.  It's kind of spooky.  It's like she knows your secret sins.

  8. Please more and please l o n n g e r! I find that this "hands on" approach "brings news" even when the facts are known. That embedded in this nice narration, results in a real gem!

  9. it seems to me that abstraction like this is more of an exercise in painting absurdity onto the spectator rather than onto the literal canvas. The painting latches onto the spectator's imagination and forces its hand, as it were, or forces it to do something, to respond to it in some manner. Which results in two possibilities: 1) immediate rejection; 2) absurd justification. Frustration, of course, is entailed with either possibility. The objective that arises then becomes that of overcoming possibility – or at least the sort we are split with – by unifying its courses and accepting it. Thus the true encounter with Chief is acceptance, of undone evaluation. In other words, we can only see in it what is in it, and not what is lacking or even what it is trying to be. No, as the spectator, we are necessarily neutral. Hence the title: Chief. Or who knows really. Maybe I'm absurdly justifying it. Or worse, maybe I'm rejecting it without realizing it. I guess that at some point, like within the creation of Chief itself, you have to walk away, like Kline did, and say you've reached an end, like Kline did. The abstract invokes the labyrinth. We ask ourselves of Chief, "If it is what it is, what am I?"

  10. Hey everyone, tune in this Wednesday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. EDT for a LIVE Q&A with IN THE STUDIO instructor Corey D'Augustine. Corey will answer questions from previous videos, as well as from the live comments section. Watch live:

  11. Can you please make an episode about Richard Diebenkorn? I have read almost everything on him, and have recreated works of his myself, but it would nice to see someone else's take on his methods.

  12. My favorite of all the modernist. I tried doing this—-epic fail. Tension and balance are very difficult to reconcile.

  13. since the artwork is called "chief" I would turn it 90 degrees to the left so it's displayed vertical and not horizontal. maybe he didn't want it to make it so obvious but it looks better if your turn it 90 degrees. maybe he was trying to achieve the tension I feel when I see the work. I do like his work.

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