Oil on canvas
Framed: 196 x 136 x 5 cm (77 3/16 x 53 9/16 x 1 15/16 in.); Unframed: 191.1 x 131.4 cm (75 1/4 x 51 3/4 in.)
Anonymous Gift 1967.3
© The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Although Kline’s paintings look like variations on Asian calligraphy, the artist denied the influence.
Although Kline's paintings look as if they were executed in a spontaneous burst of activity, they were often painstakingly pre-planned through preliminary studies. Additionally, as in the case of Accent Grave, close inspection reveals passages of reworked areas - white over black and vice-versa - indicating that the final composition was carefully orchestrated. The painting's title derives from the downward sloping black shape in its upper region, which suggests an accent grave in French phonetics.
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