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In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

Ever wondered how Agnes Martin balanced perfection and imperfection in her gridded compositions, why Jackson Pollock was dubbed “Jack the Dripper,” how Mark Rothko sought to make viewers cry, or what a Willem de Kooning painting sounds like? Sign up for “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting,” MoMA’s newest free online course—now open for enrollment at mo.ma/coursera.

This course welcomes anyone to tap into the processes, materials, and minds of seven New York School artists including Martin, Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning and Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, and Yayoi Kusama. Combining studio techniques, visual analysis, and art historical insight, it offers an opportunity to experience postwar abstract painting from an artist’s point of view. 

Thanks to @vw​ for helping to bring MoMA Courses to learners all over world!

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

MoMA’s newest free online course, “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting,” has begun, and registration ends tomorrow! Taught by conservator, art historian, and artist Corey D’Augustine, the course combines studio demonstrations, walkthroughs of MoMA’s galleries, close visual analysis of paintings in the collection, and art historical insight to introduce you to seven New York School artists—Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, and Yayoi Kusama. Says D’Augustine: “The more you know about how a painting is done, the more you can recreate the artist’s own perspective and intention, the more you can understand it.” Sign up at mo.ma/inthestudio.

[Mark Rothko. No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black). 1958. Oil on canvas. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2017 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]

Alexandra Gallagher "Was born in 1980 in Bury Lancashire. Selling internationally, mainly producing portraits, photography, digital and design work.Recently won second place in the Saatchi Surrealism Showdown with her piece ‘Owl’ which exhibited for a year at the Saatchi Gallery in London 
Alexandra Gallagher’s work celebrates the surreal and bizarre. Between the realms of memory, dreams and experience, her work looks beyond our subjective limits and often tells a story of inner imagination and thought. With elements of humour her work can almost be seen as self-portraiture.

“I take influence from everything around me - like every artist. Fashion, design, other artists, music, culture, society etc. Everything I see, hear and talk about. It all influences what I do. From a short abstract conversations with a strangers, to memories I have as an individual… we all have a story to tell, something interesting that is unique to all of us, as an individual. I love people watching. Looking at people and seeing how I could translate that into a piece of art - from my own perspective.” 

“BIC have been making lighters since 1973 and I had the amazing opportunity to make the sculptures as part of the 40th Anniversary." Made form over 3000 lighters, taking 3 months to make. The sculptures where on display at London’s Victoria station on the 23rd January 2014, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bic lighters.


Jaeyeol Han- “Savagery – Reading His Veracious Vernacular

His paintings are crude and coarse. Words of embellishment and supplement are not allowed for these images. They are primitive, like an enormous molecule shrinking for an instant only to explode immediately, escaping the conventional mold in which paintings are often casted in, and approaching us as a conglomerate of chaotic and unidentifiable energy. His main subject is rumination of his own memory, specifically the nameless strangers perambulating amongst.

These are his words. “There are just as many ways of seeing and understanding as the number of humans in this world. Likewise, I paint to express my personal and subjective response to each object.”

Under formal analysis, his portraits traverse the figurative and the abstract. His works are formed from instinct, not with underlying calculations. Contrary to his statement, “I add logic and judgment to the mixture of reason and sentiment”, his paintings are, in fact, rather marks of an upheaval - what Carl Gustav Jung had often referred to as primitive image – during which the subconscious manifests. His artworks accentuate feverous subconscious rather than cold logic, and therefore the process of “capturing none but the dynamic tension between emotion and reason” is rooted in primordial intuition yet to become coherent thoughts. His argument, “the outcome of this process is a visually rich surface, painting”, is finally completed. The result, what we witness, is his veracious vernacular.

Jaeyeol Han received Bachelor of Fine Arts from Suwon University, and has since held two solo exhibits including the latest one at Gahoedong 60. He also participated in a number of group exhibits, receiving Award of Excellence from Seoul Digital University earlier this year in March.”

Title: Passers-By Inward Oil on Linen 39x29.5cm, 2013

Price: Email thecollective57@gmail.com

Emanuel De Sousa-“Working with acrylic was not a choice but a health issue at the beginning – at the age of 19, Emanuel de Sousa developed a severe allergy to the chemicals in oil paint and diluents, having to give up this medium and switch to acrylics. This became a blessing in disguise, allowing him to explore a medium less used in human figure painting.

Adaptation was almost instinctive, developing and manipulating acrylics until technique was perfected.

Acrylic and charcoal on canvas were, and are, the perfect medium for developing the fundamentals of painting and drawing; with its seductive characteristics, fluidity, thickness, rapid drying and bold graphics, acrylic and charcoal allowed a very swift and decisive build up on canvas, with both a subtle or blunt intent that help convey an energy and pragmatic attitude to both the composition and painting.”

Untitled- Acrylic, charcoal, & spray paint on canvas 160cmx140cm - 2014

Ryan Hewett-“Contrary to the tradition of verisimilitude, for Hewett the portrait is not about capturing an external likeness of a subject; but rather as a portal to an inner journey of self-exploration. Hewett does not use sitters or models in an effort to produce a realistic depiction. Although photographs constitute his starting point, he relies principally on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination. His portraits encapsulate the truism: that the subject matter of all art is, ultimately, the self. “Many of the works start out as self-portraits, but I try not to paint with any preconception – the images need to evolve on the canvas.”In the twelve years that he has practiced as a full-time artist, Hewett’s technique has evolved from the tightly wrought pencil drawings of his earlier work into the looser, layered surfaces of his more recent paintings. This is due to his accomplished handling of oil paint that he applies to the canvas with quick, almost brutal splashes of the palette knife. Through blending, building, edging, detailing and scraping off painterly layers, Hewett’s imagery is textured and richly hued, conveying both complexity and raw emotion.Morphing from realism to abstraction, his portraits evoke a tension between external representation and what lies beneath. As such, Hewett explores the polarities inherent in the internal and external components of portraiture. He embraces the binaries between self and other, revealing that always the twain shall meet.”

Title: Caught Between- 170x130cm