Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

The Museum of Modern Art via Coursera


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.


  • Introduction
  • Barnett Newman
  • Willem de Kooning
  • Jackson Pollock
  • Mark Rothko
  • Agnes Martin
  • Ad Reinhardt
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Yayoi Kusama: Lesson Choices
    • Choice 1: Final Project: Visual analysis essay | Choice 2: Final Project: Studio exercise and visual analysis essay

Taught by

Corey D'Augustine


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at Coursera based on 1423 ratings

Start your review of In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

  • Profile image for Diane Schofield
    Diane Schofield
    Fantastic course. It was so exciting to try all the different artist's techniques.; I learnt so much about my own painting practices and can honestly say it's one of the best courses I've taken. I hadn't painted for 6 years and this course got me back into my studio so I absolutely recommend it to anyone, whether they have painted before or not!
  • Katerina L. Xarchopoulou
    It was very helpful for understanding the era these artists were creating art, struggling to make a mark in the art world. They are very well explained, in the studio presentation and glossary is really helpful. I am very happy that I came across this course. I am always going back to previous videos and articles. In this way I always find myself to have learned more things every time I retake a look. To be honest, every time a unit finishes, I wish it weren't. Pure joy for the mind and soul!

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.