Franz Kline is best known for his sweeping black-and-white paintings from the late 1940s and early 1950s that represent some of the purest examples of Abstract Expressionism. By the late 1950s, however, Kline reintroduced color into his work as a way to extend and redefine the essential tension between black and white. Here the atmospheric haze of purple does not mitigate the sense of movement and pressure that arises between the two primary tones, but rather enriches it. Despite its suggestions of an elegiac, flamelit ceremony, Torches Mauve in fact was named for a brand of purple oil paint manufactured by Joseph Torch on Fourteenth Street in New York.
John B. Ravenal and John Vick, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 35