Catalogue raisonné

Stephen C. Foster

Stephen Foster’s Franz Kline catalogue raisonné involves the creation of a comprehensive, twofold Kline publication.

Foster was responsible for curating the European Franz Kline Retrospective (Franz Kline: Art and the Structure of Identity) dating from 1994-1995. The exhibition was composed of over 70 works and accompanied by a book-length catalogue bearing the same title. The exhibition was hosted by the Fundacio Antoni Tapies (Barcelona) and traveled to the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid) and the Saarland Museum (Saarbrucken). 

Franz Kline: Art and the Structure of Identity, Stephen Foster, curator

Franz Kline: Art and the Structure of Identity. Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona, March18-June 5, 1994; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, July 8-September 11, 1994; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, September 27-November 21, 1994; Saarland Museum, Saarbrucken, December 11, 1994-February 5, 1995. 213 pages with 21 black and white illustrations and 71 full color plates. Bibliography and chronology.

Franz Kline: Art and the Structure of Identity, Stephen Foster, curator

The exhibition provided an appropriate base upon which to compose a comprehensive monograph for the artist and to initiate a much-needed catalogue of the work, both currently in progress. Although there is general awareness of Foster’s Franz Kline project, this statement seeks to confirm its objectives and further seeks to enlist the support of individuals and institutions that are, or have been, involved with Kline’s work.  We ask that you please share this site with others you may know of who currently are, or have been involved with Kline’s works.

We welcome submissions by individuals and entities holding works by Franz Kline or works attributed to Franz Kline. Submissions should be accompanied by high resolution photographs of the front and back and detailed photos of the signature, if signed, and of any labels or inscriptions. For the requested information relating to the work, please click on the following link.

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Franz Kline in the late 1940’s: photographed by John Joseph Sheehan,
Photo courtesy of the John Joseph Sheehan Estate and Archive

The project’s objectives involve creating a comprehensive, twofold (catalogue and monograph) Kline publication which would incorporate an exhaustive cataloguing of the paintings and works on paper dating from the beginning of Kline’s career to his death in 1962. The project’s resources represent the most comprehensive collection of images and information on Franz Kline assembled to date.

Franz Kline in the late 1940’s: photographed by John Joseph Sheehan,
Photo courtesy of the John Joseph Sheehan Estate and Archive

Foster’s research and curatorial experience in dealing with Kline has spanned over twenty years and accounts for his reputation in the advocacy of his work.  The project’s documentation and databases constitute a unique resource for preparing a comprehensive and, so far as possible, definitive catalogue of works by Franz Kline. 

Franz Kline: Art and the Structure of Identity, Stephen Foster, curator

Photographs courtesy of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.


"It is rare to find an exhibition catalogue that is of value beyond the baggage of obvious historical facts and souvenir reproductions. Stephen Foster's Whitechapel catalogue on Kline is a revelation, an important giving as inspiring to read as the Kline exhibition was to see. It makes clear how Kline was developing as a great classical artist and demonstrates his development within Abstract Expressionism."

Robert Natkin, Contemporary Arts

"Foster gives it [documentation] order and coherence by casting his material and Kline's work in some of the basic principles of today's intellectual concerns like context, language, meaning, biography, medium and aesthetics. Foster's is a masterful, sensitive, and intelligent unfolding of Kline's work from the inside, where "art is a process of growth."

Patricai Railing, The Art Book

Related Publications:

An American Odyssey, 1945/1980: Debating Modernism. An exhibition of one hundred thirty works accompanied by a book length (410 pp.) catalogue with all exhibited works reproduced full page, in color. Circulo de Bellas Artes,Madrid, April 13-May 30, 2004; Domus Artium 2002 (Salamanca), June 10-July 31, 2004; Kiosco Alfonso (A Coruna), September 2-October 2, 2004; QCC Art Gallery (Queens, New York), October 24-January 15, 2005.

The Critics of Abstract Expressionism (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1980, 1985).

Stephen Foster, Credentials

Stephen Foster has served the field widely in reviewing the scholarship of his peers (The National Endowment of the Humanities, The National Endowment of the Arts and the Getty Post-Doctoral Grant Program) and has administered and directed numerous fine arts and interdisciplinary cultural fine arts programs of international scope. His consulting activities have ranged from advising prominent private, public and corporate art collections to corporate and industry consulting.

Foster received his Ph.D. in Art History from The University of Pennsylvania and has been the recipient of honors and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Getty Grant Program, The Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian.

Foster’s full resume is available upon request. 

Stephen Foster Fine Arts, LLC
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