Coursera’s “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting”

logo_square, in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), has done it again. They are currently offering another fabulous and totally free course (as long as you don’t care about credits) on a totally fascinating topic.

“In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting” is part history lesson, part practicum. Instructor Corey D’Augustine is indeed the right guy to teach such a course being both a technical art historian and an artist. Some videos capture D’Augustine in studio demonstrating the characteristic techniques of Newman, Pollock and their New York School contemporaries. Other videos show D’Augustine standing before such artists’ original works at MoMA, helping us to observe nuances, to engage more fully in the “push” and “pull” of color values, etc. I absolutely love the mix of both study and application.

As you may have noticed through my blog posts, the former is much easier for me to accomplish these days compared to the latter. But this course is great motivation to apply myself more, and I’m going to start by testing some of the masking methods and “zips” for which Barnett Newman is known (see Week 2). As I proceed through the course, I’m certain my to-do list will only grow.


Coursera Course: “Modern Art & Ideas”

logo_squareEvery so often I revisit one of my favorite online resources: It’s a treasure trove of online courses covering all kinds of subject matter and taught by instructors from reputable educational institutions all over the world. What’s more, most courses are completely free!

In skimming the list of Coursera’s current “Arts and Humanities” courses, there was one in particular that caught my eye: “Modern Art & Ideas” presented by the Museum of Modern Art. The description reads:

This course is designed to help anyone interested in learning more about modern and contemporary art. Themes can provide an effective structure for engaging with art. In this course, you will explore four themes that educators at The Museum of Modern Art use frequently in their teaching: Places & Spaces, Art & Identity, Transforming Everyday Objects, and Art & Society. Through videos, slideshows, and a variety of resources, readings, and activities, you will explore the content and context of works of art in MoMA’s collection.

I have since completed Week 2 of five and absolutely love the method and materials. As mentioned in the course introduction, we’re studying art outside of the typical approach of movement and time period; instead, we’re examining pieces that have a certain quality or inspiration in common.

Join me? The course runs through April 30 and there’s plenty of time to catch up. The first “quiz” is due April 2, and I tend to spend less than an hour on each week’s  coursework. Furthermore, Coursera is great at starring the stuff you don’t want to miss and offering many more resources if you want to go deeper. Sign up now>>