Online course: In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

Dates: any time

Duration: 27 hours

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 out of 1092 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: The Museum of Modern Art at Coursera

Cost:

  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

Want to know how some of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists made abstract paintings? This course offers an in-depth, hands-on look at the materials, techniques, and thinking of seven New York School artists, including Willem de Kooning, Yayoi Kusama, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko. Through studio demonstrations and gallery walkthroughs, you’ll form a deeper understanding of what a studio practice means and how ideas develop from close looking, and you’ll gain a sensitivity to the physical qualities of paint. Readings and other resources will round out your understanding, providing broader cultural, intellectual, and historical context about the decades after World War II, when these artists were active.

The works of art you will explore in this course may also serve as points of departure to make your own abstract paintings. You may choose to participate in the studio exercises, for which you are invited to post images of your own paintings to the discussion boards, or you may choose to complete the course through its quizzes and written assessments only. Learners who wish to participate in the optional studio exercises may need to purchase art supplies. A list of suggested materials is included in the first module. Learning Objectives: Learn about the materials, techniques, and approaches of seven New York School artists who made abstract paintings. Trace the development of each artist’s work and studio practice in relation to broader cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts in the decades after World War II. Hone your visual analysis skills. Use each artist’s works as a point of departure for making your own abstract paintings.

Instructors

Programme

WEEK 1: 4 hours to complete

Introduction

1.2 Introduction to the New York School
1.3 In the Studio: How to Stretch a Canvas
1.4 In the Studio: How to Stretch a Large Canvas (Optional)
1.5 In the Studio: Priming the Canvas
1.6 In the Studio: Oil Paint
1.7 In the Studio: Acrylic Paint
Resources: MoMA podcasts, art vocabulary, Magazine, and YouTube channel

WEEK 2: 3 hours to complete

Barnett Newman

2.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Barnett Newman
2.4 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Onement, I, 1948
2.5 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at The Wild, 1950
2.6 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950-51
2.7 Collector Ben Heller on Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950-51

WEEK 3: 3 hours to complete

Willem de Kooning

3.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Willem de Kooning
3.5 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Woman I, 1950-52
3.6 Curator John Elderfield on Excavation, 1950
3.7 Curator John Elderfield on Pirate (Untitled II), 1981

WEEK 4: 3 hours to complete

Jackson Pollock

4.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Jackson Pollock
4.4 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at The She-Wolf, 1943
4.5 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Full Fathom Five, 1947
4.6 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at One: Number 31, 1950
4.7 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Echo: Number 25, 1951
4.8 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Easter and the Totem, 1953
4.9 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at White Light, 1954
4.10 Curator Ann Temkin on The She-Wolf, 1943
4.11 Collector Ben Heller on One: Number 31, 1950
4.12 Curator Ann Temkin on Easter and the Totem, 1953

WEEK 5: 2 hours to complete

Mark Rothko

5.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Mark Rothko
5.4 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, 1944
5.5 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at No. 3/No. 13, 1949
5.6 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at No. 10, 1950
5.7 Curator Ann Temkin and the artist’s son Christopher Rothko on Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, 1944
5.8 The artist’s son Christopher Rothko on No. 10, 1950
5.9 The artist’s son Christopher Rothko on No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black), 1958

WEEK 6: 2 hours to complete

Agnes Martin

6.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Agnes Martin
6.4 A Closer Look at Friendship, 1963
6.5 A Closer Look at Untitled No. 1, 1981
6.6 Curator Leah Dickerman on The Tree, 1964

WEEK 7: 2 hours to complete

Ad Reinhardt

7.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Ad Reinhardt
7.4 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Number 107, 1950
7.5 In the Galleries: A Closer Look at Abstract Painting, 1963
7.6 Curator Ann Temkin and Ad Reinhardt on Abstract Painting, 1957

WEEK 8: 3 hours to complete

Yayoi Kusama

8.3 In the Studio: Materials & Techniques of Yayoi Kusama2
8.4 A Closer Look at No. F, 1959
8.5 A Closer Look at Violet Obsession, 1994
8.6 Curator Laura Hoptman on Accumulation No. 1, 1962