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Learner Reviews & Feedback for In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting by The Museum of Modern Art

1,434 ratings

About the Course

Take an in-depth, hands-on look at materials, techniques, and approaches to making abstract paintings. 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. Readings and other resources provide a broader cultural, intellectual, and historical context around the era when these artists were active. The artists featured in the course—Willem de Kooning, Yayoi Kusama, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko—serve as points of departure for your own abstract paintings. 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....

Top reviews


May 22, 2021

Excellent. The course was very educational, extremely well put together and Corey´s instruction was excellent. One really needed to put time and effort into it but is worth every second of time spend.


Jul 25, 2020

Beyond my expectations! Encouraged by in studio where I discovered I could be successful experimenting with all the different artists. The knowledge, insight, and fascinating experience was joyous!

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1 - 25 of 627 Reviews for In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

By Callie G

Feb 24, 2019

This is the best art class I have ever taken. It offers a perfect mix of studio art/painting techniques and art history. Instructor Corey D'Augustine is fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed this course!

By Amy

Oct 3, 2019

Well-designed course; interesting material, including optional readings. The studio demonstrations and accompanying exercises were very helpful to my own art work. Excellent overall; thank you.

By Nikka

Jul 18, 2017

I felt that I learned so much on this course. It gave me a deeper understanding of the works of each artist when I knew more of their process and had the chance to use these skills on my own.

By Donald B C

Jun 7, 2020

Really enjoyed this course, first course I have taken in this area of study. The course has given me an understanding of the artists covered and can't wait to see the artists paintings in person.

By Karl D G

Apr 17, 2019

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. It has proved useful in boosting my confidence in studying, as well as providing me with inspiration for my own work, both in painting and ceramics.

By Cheryl K

Feb 18, 2019

This course completely changed my prejudiced views of abstract art. I'd never been interested or paid much attention to any abstract art, but discovering the passions and values of the artists covered in the lessons has definitely awoken a drive to find out more and fascination in learning about the emotions, thought processes and influences that went into their art work. Inspirational!

By Peter R

Jun 19, 2017

This was my second attempt at a Coursera course and it widely exceeded my expectations - the first was in a technology arena and the technology for doing homework assignments never worked.

This class is exceptionally well thought out and executed, particularly for someone such as myself who has never had any painting experience. Corey D"Augustine has that rare gift of an instructor who intuitively knows what the student needs in order to advance through a concept. The class begins with the absolute basics, starting with how to stretch a canvas, prime a canvas and then through the different types of paint and tools needed. The class progresses to increasingly more complicated forms of painting in the style of postwar abstract expressionism.

I thoroughly enjoyed how each week progresses through one artist after another with the opportunity to do a painting in the style of that artist. Each module does a superb and consistent job of presenting the artist's major works, the philosophy and history and then the techniques through a demonstration. It is great to be able to upload a photo of your effort and then see and react to what other students have done. The quiz at the end of each module help to reinforce the lessons learned for that module.

In the end, I found that I could paint paintings in the style of the postwar abstract expressionists - something I never thought possible. To the student with little or no experience with painting, especially oils, the mere mixing of paint and applying it to a canvas can be intimidating - this instructor effectively moves the student away from those hesitations. More importantly, I will likely never look a painting in a museum with a more critical eye than I now have for this style of art and, I can now articulate why I have always enjoyed this period of art history. Well done Corey!

By Robert W C

May 27, 2021

The course was very enjoyable. The teacher, Mr. Corey D'Augustine, was wonderful; however the intellectual level of the assignments was quite low, and their was basically no feedback. This is true especially with the "Visual analysis essay" - I received 100/100 with virtually no idea what I did right about the essay.

By Marie C

May 16, 2020

The course content and the way Cory Augustine presented the demos and tutorials were very engaging.

There were however techniical glitches that were annoying. Some pages of required reading would not load and instructions how to upload assignments are not very clear.

It wasnt stated very clearly to me that the final assiessments track 1 and 2 were either or choices. I was in the process of working on track 2 when i was notified i had completed the course.

Most disappointing to me is that there is no feedback concerning how well i reviewed my peers essays.

There is also a workflow flaw in the grading page for peer review of essays. The grading section appears BEFORE the box for comments. When you complete grading and hit SUBMIT, you will lose the chance to type comments and post them to the student because the comments box disappears. i think most people do not realise this so many students may receive a grade but not the comments. With the current system, the comments must be typed and posted , BEFORE completing the grade marking. You will also not see the POST button until you start typing comments. This page has got to change. i realised this problem because i reviewed 3 essays and experienced the problem with the first essay i graded. It was a shame because this student did remarkably well but did not get my comments. For the other 2 i, i posted the comments before submitting the grades.

I received 95% grade for my ownessay. When i referred to my assgnment page for more details, i discovered that the box for 90% had been crossed out in red and " 95% tie" typed in. Was this change made by a mentor/administrator? i do not see how we have ant option to give grades other than those predetermined.

By Yasmin D

May 17, 2020

Thank you Corey and Moma for this incredible course . An incredible experience . I never believed in online courses , but this course has proved how wrong one can be. I learned and practiced many different techniques and much about the post war abstract artists. The only complaint is that the course was too short , and Corey and Moma are going to offer a part two . Thank you coursera for making this experience possible. Bust most of all thank you Corey for generously sharing with those of us who cant make it in person to your classes.

By Sarrah S

Sep 26, 2021

Informative, clear and interesting analysis of key Postwar American Abstract Painters. Relevant and accessible reference material and module quizzes that reinforce key concepts and ideas. Thanks.

By Luis G

Mar 27, 2018

Everything is available on line or YouTube, there is no interaction or feedback from instructors, you learn some of the materials and techniques but almost no information about how the painters express their ideas or the feelings they intent to create in the painting.

I have been painting abstract for several years without following any group or style and I have better feeling painting just one canvas that the emptiness that I fell after finishing the whole course

The idea is good but could be greatly improved.

By Maureen W

Apr 13, 2021

Thank you...a million thank yous for this excellent course. Corey Augustine is brilliant, funny, easy, smart and talented and his style makes what was aways complex for me so much more understandable. I have seen Rotho, Pollock and Kooning in galleries n Toronto and Ottawa and a bit in NYC but I never really knew what I was looking at, even when it stirred me, pleased me, upset me. I am so privileged now to be introduced to meaning. I feel so lucky to have come upon this course. And my 93 year old neighbour who loves Rothko was so pleased when I told her about this course that she is checking out post-war AEE on Coursera today. I love how the course is constructed...the workshop demonstrating materials and approaches, the different voices describing the work. Brilliant!! :)

By Kate G

Jun 18, 2017

This course can be pricey if you are following along on the studio exercises, and have no art supplies at home already. That said, the course is very, very good in terms of technique process, better than the any 40k plus art school I ever attended. There is almost no teacher/student interaction except for the Q&A, so the interaction can leave something to be desired, but I think in terms of pure information, this course is incredible, clear, concise, and excellent.

By Diane B

Jul 26, 2020

Beyond my expectations! Encouraged by in studio where I discovered I could be successful experimenting with all the different artists. The knowledge, insight, and fascinating experience was joyous!

By Nina M

Jul 27, 2020

I have so much enjoyed this course! It is the second one I have completed, the first being Modern Art and Ideas. In Postwar and abstract Painting, I felt more confident in having a go at the practical assignments, posting them and sharing comments with others. I loved watching the tutor's videos where he talked about the artists' use of materials, techniques, thinking behind them and showed us how to actually have a go at painting in that style. Along with the other videos on the actual works in the gallery, plus wider reading and watching, I was able to make my own journey of discovery in the lives, motivation and aims of these artists. To start with, I had little or no prior knowledge or understanding of them. Being able to put them into context regarding history and their post war art community, striving towards new and innovative approaches to communicating and expressing themselves in their art has been fascinating. Corey Augustine is an excellent tutor, speaking, explaining and demonstrating so clearly the work, drawing me into wanting to try for myself, grow my insight and making me want to learn more. Thank you very much! Nina

By Maura S

Jul 14, 2017

Extraordinary class!

A self-taught artist of eight years, I found I didn't really "get" abstract expressionism. This course as presented gave me a much deeper appreciation for the historical impact of this movement as well as a greater understanding of techniques employed, thanks to Corey D'Augustine's weekly "In the studio" video sessions. In fact, those videos, in particular, gave me the confidence to work in oils, which I had never attempted before, and validated my own instincts in working in the abstract world. What's more, the readings and images studied by these seven artists informed my appreciation for the AbEx movement and, hopefully, my ability to not sound like a dumba$$ when discussing AbEx or other forms of art as the course also provided a deeper introduction into technical terminology and evaluatative (is that a word?) procedures.

I highly recommend this course to those artists wanting to enhance their works, and also to those on the critical / commercial side of the art world seeking to deepen their understanding of the AbEx movement and become more informed about different painting processes in general.

By Catherine F

Feb 22, 2020

I have really enjoyed every stage of this fascinating course.

I was an an architectural student in the late 1950´s & early 1960’s, the period covered by your course. I regret to say that, at the time, being committed to designing our vision of a « brave new world », with imaginations running riot, I was aware of the movement in New York but the subtlety of the work was lost to me. At last, after too many years, I have a better understanding of the art and of the artists Involved. I will now give their paintings the time that they deserve and not walk past assuming that I have absorbed all there is to see.

The course has been a revelation for me and what I have really enjoyed is the feeling of involvement , not just me + a computer screen. The « in the studio » series was fascinating, as were so many other constituents. The course will , I think, influence my paintings and sculpture, as well as having been fascinating to follow. Many thanks to all involved & I hope the next stage will be a visit MOMA.

By Niki B

May 23, 2020

This is a great course. I took it for fun during the Covid19 Quarantine. it's a shame that most of the projects were in oils. It seems most artists post-war used oils, but I am an acrylics painter, and acrylics i brought home from my studio at the start of the Quarantine were more accessible. I also would not want to use oils in front of my apartment building if I even had them. I also had a limited supply of canvas and didn't want to use what I had on projects, that while fun, would leave me without canvas for my own work. Regardless, it was such a great opportunity to have had this time for this course, the supplies were the trade off in such unusual circumstances. All of this aside, what a fantastic course, and Corey was amazing. Even just watching him demo how painters created their paintings was fascinating to watch and such a rare opportunity . Thank you so much!

By Elizabeth M

Nov 5, 2019

As someone who has been involved in digital graphics/video/music production and had not touched paint since grade school I suddenly over the last year or so surprisingly found myself being drawn to the ideas behind painting. I perused the course "In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting" but was unsure how much I would learn.

The course far exceeded my expectations. At times it almost felt like being in the classroom. I learned so much and am looking forward to trying out all the techniques described each week as I explore making my own paintings over the next few years.

The teacher is amazing, love Corey’s teaching style, he explained things in a very clear manner and his humble down to earth manner was endearing. Would highly recommend this course!

By Arvydas G (

Jan 9, 2019

Thank you, Corey D'Augustine for your lessons, which really enriched my knowledge and teach me to understand art better. I really began to develop a deeper appreciation of the artists works, acquired new skills and inspired to create new works.

I really liked the way the lessons were organized and the course as a whole. Refinement and reinforcement of knowledge is very well at the end of each lesson, when I have to answer quiz. And of course Final Project, peer-graded assignment, studio exercise, and visual analysis essay - all this is undoubtedly assimilated and settles in long-term memory and becomes yours for life.

By Luciana A N

Jun 5, 2017

Exceed my expectations in every way. Having an instructor deeply knowledgeable and passionate about painting techniques - and not just how they fit into this or that movement - allowed for a much deeper understanding of the paintings, from a perspective entirely new to me. I know a lot about art, from what I see in museums and from avid reading on the topic. But to see them all come to life with brushes and paints... that was awesome and made me much more appreciative of the work involved in each artwork. I'll be rewatching some of the videos, for sure. Please do a 2nd installment!

By Gabriela L

Jan 9, 2018

Great course. The lecturer is knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, his explanations are very clear. I think it's a great idea to combine art history on the artists with studio technique lessons. The best part is to have the lessons taught in front of the actual paintings that hang on the walls of MoMA, that's not only exciting, but we are able to see the true dimensions of each work reviewed, as well as some close ups to appreciate details and textures. The references and links presented are very useful.

By Felipe M

Jun 8, 2020

Thanks MoMa and Courey D'Agostini, I really enjoy the course and change completely my perspective of Abstract Art. I'm a self thought artist and have some direct lessons with Mexican Artist Nieves Moreno, I like nature and paint landscapes, mainly because I´m a mining Engineer, retired now and dedicated to art. I will like you to please suggest some School in NY where I can improve my Technic and improve my overall knowledge. Thank you very much, I´m very satisfied about the course, my rate will be EXCELLENT

By Karen A

Jan 31, 2018

With the completion of this course I had to have a lot of concentration for the readings, to take care of the deadlines, persistence to move on until the end, I developed my reading and writing in English that is not my original language. All this besides the specificities of the course properly on post war painting. The course is very complete, on theory and practice, with great visual presentation for the texts for the videos of the classes and links. It was a great experience that I highly recommend