Related to his important painting Black and White from 1951, Franz Kline's Untitled was executed two years later as a reflection of his earlier work. Having been housed in the significant abstract expressionist collection of Israel Rosen, Rosen, a close friend of the artist had discussed the composition with Kline directly. "The painting was originally a study of Nijinsky; Kline suggested that it be titled Black and White over Brown-Torso," Rosen recalled (I. Rosen quoted in H. Gaugh, Franz Kline: the vital gesture, New York, 1994, p. 105). A Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish decent, Vaslav Nijinksy-cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century-was a pivotal dancer for the Ballet Russes, who enthralled audiences when he arrived in New York in April of 1916, inspiring many artists of the generation. Evoking the tension and dynamism of the dancer, Untitled simultaneously possesses the same architectural resilience of Kline's most influential works.