rothko red

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

[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]


“An essay by Steven Jacobs has suggested some common features liking Antonioni and his films to the work of Pollock, Rothko and Newman. Among them are flatness, emptiness and large surfaces. Antonioni’s preference for Pollock’s larger canvases may have been linked to their infinity with a wide cinema screen, their filling of the frame right to the edges. Jacobs also notes that these painters, like Antonioni, is interested in ephemeral forms which relate to flatness or deliberate 2 dimensionality. Mist, Jacobs writes, transforms any depth into a surface.”

- David Forgacs, audio commentary on Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert (1964)

Mark Rothko, Red No. 14, 1960

‘I’m not an abstract artist…I’m not interested in the relationship of colour or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on…”
Mark Rothko