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

1,369 ratings

About the Course

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....

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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By Deleted A

Jul 15, 2020

Until last week, I was extremely happy to be taking this course. Especially that it's online and available during these strange covid-19 times.

But I am experiencing another aspect of the course that's putting another light on taking it:

In the midst of my life tasks and responsibilities, and longing to simply get back to actually painting, all the many otherwise worthy Coursera homework assignments in the "In the Studio" course are becoming overwhelming to keep up with, or even to try. So I've mostly given up on doing the readings, and am right now just trying to watch as many of the videos as I can manage.

I'm trying to relax the tension I feel around the pink exclamation (!) mark that appears when I get an answer wrong on a test. And trying to just learn, and enjoy whatever I can manage to do in the course.

I have yet to actually do one of the painting exercises, which I thought would be great to learn from and the reason I signed up. I'm basically just trying to get off the computer so I can paint more, hopefully, with ideas and inspiration from Corey D'Augustine's instruction.

***I am wondering if all the artists we are learning about--Pollack, Milne and others--went through intensive academic instruction and testing, and whether they took intellectual learning of facts, and tests and grading as important, or even relevant to their work, other than as an intellectual restrictions to see beyond and go beyond.***

What I am suggesting is that you offer the choice of another way of going through the course, more experientially, without the intellectual demands and academic grading and punitive feedback; for artists and others who have genuine interest in the material. I'm sure Coursera is not aware of that as part of their art presentation, but it is. For anyone like myself, who did not have an easy time in school (and in liberal arts college and grad school programs), the grading and automated harsh feedback is unpleasant and counter to an artist's work and life. And it reawakens memories of how difficult a time I had in school.

I, like many other artists, used to think I must be lazy or unintelligent, and it's taken many years to realize I am intelligent and just need to be in and create an environment that suits my artistic style.

Academic punitiveness is not something that we should be having to deal with again as adults, and certainly not during these difficult covid-19 times. More spaciousness, choices and kindness are needed, in particular, around the Coursera testing feedback and homework.

I wonder if this academic conventional strictness is so ingrained in the culture that it might be invisible to those in academia?

Otherwise, it's a great course. And Corey D-Augustine is a great teacher.

I hope this response can be read and considered in future programming. Thank you very much for asking for feedback, and for this otherwise really excellent course.

By Greg W

Mar 4, 2023

The course art content is fantastic. Support zero. The lack of support diminished my experience on this course. The assessment is a joke. Many of the multiple-choice quiz questions are pedagogically incorrect and seriously disadvantage students that don't have English as a first language. The peer-assessment is a joke. It's carried out by fellow students that are not given any training in assessment and if they were would not be experienced enough to do it. The website has serious navigation issues. Some of the learning materials are inappropriate for vision-impaired students.

The instructor, Corey Augustine, is fantastic but he is not reachable. Questions relating to his excellent demonstrations go unanswered. We could all learn so much more with a little feedback on techniques being demonstrated.

By Allan M

Mar 11, 2021

Being a landscape painter, I wanted to open my mind to Absteact painting.

The course was easy to follow and the video demonstrations helped show the techniques used by the painters studied. At the end of each section futher reading was available or pointers to its location on line.

I enjoyed painting in the style of the painters we studied, however, one draw back for me was being in full Lockdown I only had limited materials to hand. (this would not been a problem normally) this ment I had to improvise,

A quiz at the end of each section are multipule choice, not my fav, with 80% pass mark, however, if you found you were weak on a part you can re read and resit.

Overall I enjoyed this look in to the world of Abstract Painting, but the worrying thing was that most of them ended up commiting suicide.