Lot 112
  • 112

Franz Kline

100,000 - 150,000 USD
173,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Franz Kline
  • Night Figure I
  • signed
  • ink and oil on paper
  • 11 1/4 by 8 1/2 in. 28.6 by 21.6 cm.
  • Executed in 1959.


Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above in March 1960


New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Kline, March - April 1960, cat. no. 25, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Mary and Alan Englander first began collecting contemporary art in the early 1960’s after taking a class with Ivan Karp. The legendary dealer, who guided the careers of major 20th century artists was a director at the Castelli Gallery at the time and already helping to shape what we have come to recognize as the world’s best collections of contemporary art. While Karp undoubtedly taught the burgeoning collecting couple the basic tenets of modern art movements, the natural passion and sheer enjoyment the Englanders brought to their collection was entirely their own, and shared equally between them.   

While their earliest acquisition was most likely an Albers Homage to the Square, their most memorable belonged to the two Wesselmann works, the Little Great American Nudes, lots 272 and 273. Introduced to the artist personally, and most likely through Karp, they were immediately captivated by the vibrancy of his work.  As they liked to recount later, they paid the $125 for each work in several installments, and on the final check Wesselmann wrote “Thanks” alongside his endorsement.   

The Englanders truly embodied the spirit of true collectors; even when they had long finished buying, they never stopped looking, learning and absorbing.  Not only did Alan speak often of simply walking around their small apartment deriving joy from the objects contained therein, but the couple often spent their leisure time going to museums and galleries.  Well into their early 80s, a perfect Sunday was comprised of a coffee, a bagel and a long stroll through the Met simply taking in whatever interested them in that moment.