Kline, born May 23, 1910, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
He took art classes at the Boston University
Art Students League from 1931 to 1935. In 1935
he went to Heatherley’s Art School from 1936
to 1938 in London England. He settled down in
New York in 1939. During the 1930s and 1940s,
Kline painted cityscapes and landscapes of the
coal-mining district where he was raised as
well as commissioned murals and portraits.
At this time, he received awards in several
National Academy of Design Annuals. In 1943,
Kline met Willem de Kooning at Conrad Marca-Relli’s
studio and within the next few years also met
Jackson Pollock. Kline’s interest in Japanese
art began at this time. His mature abstract
style, developed in the late 1940s, is characterized
by bold gestural strokes of fast-drying black
and white enamel. Jackson Pollock would emmulate
much of his gestural style in his own works.