25 May 2017

Peers’ works on Kusama

One more study with a repetitive pattern

sakura exercise

20 May 2017

A collage with examples of Kusama’s works

Yayoi Kusama (1)

15 May 2017

Resources on Kusama

Yayoi Kusama: Obsessed with Polka Dots.” Tate, 2012.

Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama exhibition brochure. The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

Grady T. Turner. “Yayoi Kusama.” BOMB, Winter 1999.

Yayoi Kusama. Self-Obliteration. 1967

The Museum of Modern Art: Yayoi Kusama

Lynn Zelavansky, Laura Hoptman, Yayoi Kusama, and Akira Tatehata. Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958-1968. Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Japan Foundation; The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

10 May 2017

The last painter is Yayoi Kusama, who produced works with repeating patterns and some of her late works are more related to Pop Art

The exercise proposed for this last week was a reproduction of her painting «Infinity Net» – How to paint like Yayoi Kusama | IN THE STUDIO

The canvas is primed in black acrylic and the pattern is painted in white oil – 

Kusama infinitynet_detail_em

Infinity Net, Yayoi Kusama (1959)

Her patterns are repeated to infinity.

BBC interview at Tate Modern

My exercise is a very simple study on a brown cardpaper painted with a black brushpen

kasuma study

Ida Brandão

26 April 2017

Resources on Ad Reinhart

The Painting Techniques of Ad Reinhardt. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

From the Curator: Ad Reinhardt. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

The Museum of Modern Art: Ad Reinhardt

25 April 2017

My attempts on Ad Reinhardt: A4 watercolour paper and acrylics on Reinhardt’s Blue

Reinhardt, Blue, 1938
Ida on Reinhardt Blue 2
Ida Brandão
Ida on Reinhardt Blue
Ida Brandão

24 April 2017

Ad Reinhardt painting main feature is the geometric abstraction, culminating in his black series where the hues are very subtle and almost undistinguishable. (

His technique resides fundamentally on the preparation of the paint, he diluted the oil paint with turpentine and left it rest for a week, The pigment rested on the bottom of the container and he woud remove the turpentine on the surface, using only the pigment to paint evenly and precisely.


He was a major influence on conceptual art, minimal art and monochrome painting. (

collage Ad Reinhardt

23 April

Peers’ works on Agnes Martin

Adrenus OHara_Agnes-Martin-style-painting

Adrenus O’Hara

22 April 2017

My attempts on Agnes Martin.

The same painting A4 watercolour painting with a copper blackgroung and white pearl medium, photo taken outside on the balcony and inside house.

Ida on Agnes Martin 2
Ida Brandão
Ida on Agnes Martin
Ida Brandão

An atempt on Agnes Martin’s Friendship – an A4 watercolour paper with a yellow+pearl medium background and a grid with fine pencil

Ida on Agnes Martin friendship
Ida Brandão

An A4 watercolour paper with a light acrylic blue (Ph blue+pearl medium) background and stripes of light yellow acrylic (cadmium yellow) and light pink (carmine+pearl medium), pastel crayon lines

Ida on Agnes Martin pastels
Ida Brandão

Recovering an A3 watercolour paper painted in gelly plate with pastel fluid paints and collage of windows of old buildings and a hand door knocker.

collage windows knocker
Ida Brandão collage

21 April 2017

Agnes Martin (1912-2004) is one of the last abstract expressionists. She had a close relationship with Ad Reinhardt and shared his geometric approach to abstraction.(

collage Agnes Martin

Her paintings are quite minimalist and she is usually associated with this movement.

«Martin used many different tools to plot her lines and grids, including rulers, masking tape, and string tacked to opposite margins of the canvas. By focusing intently on process and materials, she thoroughly explored the nuances of the formal qualities of painting—line, color, texture, translucency, gloss, and pictorial space.»

A retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern (Youtube) –

«Martin moved from early biomorphic abstractions informed by Surrealism to the spare, ethereal, grid-based compositions she made during her stay in New York from 1957 to 1967. She initially lived in an artists’ community formed around the affordable, light-flooded loft spaces of lower Manhattan’s Coenties Slip, an experience that deeply impacted her life and work. Her increasingly austere compositions featured geometric shapes organized into repeating, symmetrical patterns. By 1963, she had adopted the grid as her principal compositional device, which she overlaid onto square canvases washed in muted veils of translucent color. »

His art is very meditative and quiet, soft pastel colours (or just tonalities like in her white paintings) influenced by her beliefs of Budhism and Taoism.

Agnes Martin Friendship 1963
Agnes Martin, Friendship, 1963

Course resources:

Romy Silver. “Agnes Martin.” In Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art. Edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz. The Museum of Modern Art, 2010, 242–246. Images have been altered for copyright reasons. If you’d like to purchase the full publication, please visit

Agnes Martin, TateShots

Olivia Laing. “Agnes Martin: the artist mystic who disappeared into the desert.The Guardian, May 22, 2015.

Tess Thackara. “Elusive in Life, Agnes Martin Continues to Evade Her Viewers in Death.”, June 8, 2015.

Ryan Leahey. “The Little-Known Manhattan Neighborhood Where Agnes Martin, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana Made Art.”, November 22, 2016.

The Museum of Modern Art: Agnes Martin

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Agnes Martin

17 April 2017

Some peers’ works on Rothko

16 April 2017

I’ve painted over cheap A3 watercolour paper, using in the first acrylic and in the second watercolour. My colours were mixtures of burnt amber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, pirrole red, carmine, mortuum violet, phthalo blue.

In spite of the many layers of thinned paint (just used water) and different mixtures of colours, the edges are too defined.

Ida on Rothko acrylic
Ida Brandão (acrylic)
Ida on Rothko watercolour
Ida Brandão (watercolour)
Ida on Rothko acrylic 2
Ida Brandão (acrylic)

15 April 2017

collage Rothko

Rothko, Green and Maroon, 1953
No_61_Rust and Blue Mark_Rothko 1953
Rothko, Rust and Blue, 1953
RothkoFourDarksRed 1958
Rothko, Four Darks in Red, 1958

14 April 2017

Course resources on Mark Rothko:

The Painting Techniques of Mark Rothko: No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black). AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

From the Curator: Mark Rothko. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals

The Museum of Modern Art: Mark Rothko

National Gallery of Art: Mark Rothko

Tate: Mark Rothko

More on Rothko: 

«Highly informed by Nietzsche, Greek mythology, and his Russian-Jewish heritage, Rothko’s art was profoundly imbued with emotional content that he articulated through a range of styles that evolved from figurative to abstract.

Rothko’s early figurative work – including landscapes, still lifes, figure studies, and portraits – demonstrated an ability to blend Expressionism and Surrealism. His search for new forms of expression led to his Color Field paintings, which employed shimmering color to convey a sense of spirituality.

Rothko maintained the social revolutionary ideas of his youth throughout his life. In particular he supported artists’ total freedom of expression, which he felt was compromised by the market. This belief often put him at odds with the art world establishment, leading him to publicly respond to critics, and occasionally refuse commissions, sales and exhibitions.»

Some information on Rothko’s technique:

A very short video by the National Gallery of Art addresses research on Rothko’s technique –

«Conservators at the Tate Modern have studied the murals using cutting-edge techniques in collaboration with researchers at MOLAB, an Italian organization that provides technical support to European conservation projects. They investigated the chemistry of microgram samples of paint using mass spectrometry, and probed the structure of layers with high-resolution electron microscopy. Ultraviolet images reveal Rothko’s brush work, each layer made from a unique medium that fluoresces differently.

Their research shows that Rothko used materials far beyond the conventional range sold for artists, modifying the properties of oil paints to achieve the flow, drying time and colours he needed. He used synthetic substances such as oil-modified alkyd and acrylic resins alongside traditional materials, including egg, glue and dammar resin, which are fast-drying and allowed him to apply subsequent layers within hours. Resins increased the viscosity of the mixtures so the paints could be diluted without losing their coherence. Rothko also applied phenol formaldehyde to prevent layers from blending into one another. Each mural differs with regard to its paint mixture or the layering sequence, suggesting that Rothko constantly experimented.» (

Tate Rothko Research Project –

A Tate Paper on Rothko’s Black on Maroon 1958 –

13 April 2017

Some peers’ works on Pollock

12 April 2017

My exercises inspired by Pollock paintings share only two commom features, a kind of arabesque visual and no focal point. His technique and media are very different from mine, he used big canvas roll on the floor,  enamel/house paints, drip and splatter technique, pouring paint, moving around and over the canvas.

My first exercise was to paint with white chinese ink on a A4 black cardpaper, getting a kind of spiders web visual. I’ve used an old callygraphy pen, they probably have more than 40 years, when accounting books were made by hand with english and french callygraphy.

canetas tinta da china
Callygraphy pen
arabesque on black background
Ida Brandão

My second exercise was to paint on an A3 cheap watercolour paper, painting a light dégradé of red and green as background with watercolours and doodling with black chinese ink, using a thin chinese brush and fluid paint in several colours.

colourful arabesque
Ida Brandão

My 3rd exercise was with an A3 cheap watercolour paper giving several tea washes as background (which doesn’t show in the picture, but resulted in a very nice soft tonality) and doodling with chinese black ink and some red ink with the callygraphy pen.

The picture is not true to the real thing because it looks like there is a blueish/reddish background colour.

Ida Brandão

A small canvas (30X50) recover, with a previous collage with strips of painted tracing paper on gelli, using fluid glossy multipurpose paints of light colours.

Ida on recover canvas Pollock
Ida Brandão (canvas recover, collage)
idenko paints
Multipurpose glossy paints

10 April 2017

Jackson Pollock is another icon of american abstract expressionism, whose paintings became a recognized brand with his drip painting technique, on wide canvas sprayed on the floor – He was influenced by surrealism and cubism and some of his earliest paintings show it.

Pollock Autumn Rythm
Autumn Rythm, 1959

«As with many of Pollock’s paintings, he began Autumn Rythm with a linear framework of diluted black paint which in many areas soaked through the unprimed canvas. Over this he applied more skeins of paint in various colors – lines thick and thin, light and dark, straight and curved, horizontal and vertical. As the title suggests, the coloring, horizontal orientation, and sense of ground and space in Autumn Rhythm are strongly evocative of nature. The balance between control and chance that Pollock maintained throughout his working process produced compositions that can have as much calm tranquillity as some works by Rothko.» (

«In 1947 Jackson Pollock arrived at a new mode of working that brought him international fame. His method consisted of flinging and dripping thinned enamel paint onto an unstretched canvas laid on the floor of his studio. This direct, physical engagement with his materials welcomed gravity, velocity, and improvisation into the artistic process, and allowed line and color to stand alone, functioning entirely independently of form. His works, which came to be known as “drip paintings,” present less a picture than a record of the fluid properties of paint itself. Though self-reflexive in nature, they readily inspire larger interpretations; the explosive, allover expanses of Number 1A, 1948 (1948) and One: Number 31, 1950 (1950) can be seen as registering a moment in time marked by both the thrill of space exploration and the threat of global atomic destruction.» (

collage Pollock

Week resources:

The Painting Techniques of Jackson Pollock: One Number 31. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

From the Curator: Jackson Pollock. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

Hans Namuth. Jackson Pollock Painting. 1951.

Harold Rosenberg. “The American Action Painters.” Art News, 1952.

Carolyn Lanchner. Jackson Pollock. The Museum of Modern Art, 2009, 1-13. To purchase the full publication, visit

Jackson Pollock: ‘No Chaos, Damnit!’ An interview with James Coddington, Chief Conservator.” The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

Pepe Karmel, editor. Jackson Pollock: Interviews, Articles, and Reviews. The Museum of Modern Art, 1999.

Kirk Varnedoe. Jackson Pollock. The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

Kirk Varnedoe and Pepe Karmel, editors. Jackson Pollock: New Approaches. The Museum of Modern Art, 1999.

The Museum of Modern Art: Jackson Pollock

The Museum of Modern Art: David Alfaro Siqueiros

9 April 2017

My attempts on the de Kooning style

One first attemp of painting acrylic on newspaper glued to cardboard

abstract on nwspaper on the Kooning
Ida Brandão

Another attempt of acrylic abstract painting based on Merritt Parkway painted on an A3 cheap watercolour paper

abstract on de Kooning
Ida Brandão

Another attempt based on de Kooning’s Excavation, the lines are organic on animals’ silhouettes, the background is acrylic naples yellow (kind of beige), lines in black acrylic, and some touchs of acrylic carmin, phthalo blue, primary yellow, yellow ochre, virdian. The shadows were made with graphite and pastel crayons (whitw yellow, olive, burnt carmine (kind of dark pink).

mixed media on excavation de Kooning
Ida Brandão

4 April 2017

Some peers works inspired by de Kooning –

3 April 2017

Week 3 is devoted to Wilem de Kooning, a dutch who became a NY painter in the circle of Abstract Expressionism.

He has very diverse works along his career being his iconic work Woman I. He balances from the figurative to the abstract, some works are more figurative and others more abstract. He also worked in printmaking and sculptur.

Her women paintings have a grotesque, aggressive and ugly look.

Considered his landmark paintings – Pink Angels, Excavation, Women Series:

collage de Kooning 2

His works are compiled in the de Kooning Foundation website – 

collage de Koponing

I agree with de Kooning words «Of all movements, I like Cubism most. It had that wonderful unsure atmosphere of reflection—a poetic frame where something could be possible, where an artist could practise [sic] his intuition. It didn’t want to get rid of what went before. Instead it added something to it. The parts that I can appreciate in other movements came out of Cubism. Cubism became a movement, it didn’t set out to be one. It has force in it, but it was no “force-movement”. And then there is that one-man movement, Marcel Duchamp—for me a truly modern movement because it implies that each artist can do what he thinks he ought to—a movement for each person and open for everybody.» ( )

Week 3 readings

Carolyn Lanchner. Willem de Kooning. The Museum of Modern Art, 2011, 12-23. If you’d like to purchase the full publication, visit

De Kooning: a Retrospective. The Museum of Modern Art, 2011. (Methods and Materials and Around Excavation: 1948-1950)

Willem de Kooning. What Abstract Art Means to Me: Statements by six American Artists. February 5, 1951.

John Elderfield. “Space to Paint.” In de Kooning: a Retrospective. The Museum of Modern Art, 2011, 8–46. If you’d like to purchase the full publication, visit

de Kooning: a Retrospective audio tour

MoMA Learning: Woman, I

The Museum of Modern Art: Willem de Kooning

1 April 2017

Week 2 readings:

The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman: Vir Heroicus Sublimis. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

From the Curator: Barnett Newman. AB EX NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Also on

Barnett Newman Interview

MoMA Learning: The Sublime and the Spiritual

Barnett Newman Foundation

The Museum of Modern Art: Barnett Newman

Some peers’ works inspired by Barnett Newman:

The first assignment was to make a painting in Barnett Newman style with the zips.

I describe the process:

  1. primed the canvas 38X46 with gesso
  2. painted the whole canvas with a first layer of magenta
  3. divided the canvas into three parts with three strips of vertical mask tape
  4. painted each part in pyrhole red (aprox. cadmium red), in carmine (dark red) and an orange resulting from a mix of pyrhole red and primary yellow
  5. removed the mask tape showing the magenta and repositioned the mask tape at the centre of the first zip to paint a thin white strip;
    • over the magenta 2nd zip painted two layers of yellow ochre, repositioning the mask tape over the reds to limit the ochre colour;
    • over the magenta 3rd zip painted a thin strip of primary yellow (more or less at the centre) and used the palette knife to put a second layer of primary yellow blurring to the right side
    • added a personal touch using a small wood stick to paint very small ochre rectangles in a dashed line, retouched with a thin brush with a second layer of ochre to hghlight he small rectangles
painting Barnett Newman style
Zips for Barnett Newman, Ida Brandão

The materials used: I’m using Amsterdam basic acrylics

materials barnett painting

I also tried a watercolor version, which is a very different medium and it was not easy to paint an even colour. I have used the mask tape to paint the zips but I had to press a line to control the blur of the colours. I used a crimson (dark red) which required several layers of paint, after drying each one. I suppose that what makes watercolour exciting is the blur of colours, not homogeneous colours.

watercolor zip
Watercolour zip, Ida Brandão

Watercolour palette: brilliant red, crimson, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, medium yellow

watercolour palette zips

Another variation of ZIPs on tracing paper and pastel fluid paints

tracing paper painting zip
Tracing paper zips, Ida Brandão
fluid paints zips
Glossy fluid paints

Related to the vertical zips I have painted a small canvas sometime ago that later on turned into a collage.

To begin with I wanted to experiment fluorescent acrylics I had bought (pink, orange, green) so I covered the canvas in black acrilic and then painted strokes of fluorescent ink around. As it didn’t have the expected result, I have painted on gelli plate some magazine pages, deli paper and tissue paper, that I’ve ripped in narrow strips and glued to the canvas. I like the resut and perhaps if it expanded to a larger canvas it might become more interesting

mixed media collage
Mixed media collage, Ida Brandão

26 March 2017

Barnett Newman (1905-1970) «shared the Abstract Expressionists‘ interests in myth and the primitive unconscious, but the huge fields of color and trademark “zips” in his pictures set him apart from the gestural abstraction of many of his peers» –

collage Brnett Newman

Barnett Newman’s masterpiece the steel sculpture Broken Obelisk, made in the 60’s, dedicated to Martin Luther King.

Robert Hughes wrote, “Newman’s pursuit of the sublime lay less in nature than in culture. This enabled him to pick ancient, man-made forms and return them to pristine significance without a trace of piracy. One index of that ability was his sculpture. Broken Obelisk, perhaps the best American sculpture of its time, is Newman’s meditation on ancient Egypt: a steel pyramid, from whose apex an inverted obelisk rises like a beam of light. Here, Newman bypassed the Western associations of pyramids and broken columns with death, and produced a life-affirming image of transcendence. That unruffled self-sufficiency, beyond style, gave Newman’s work its mysterious didactic value. It is not ‘expressive’; the silence at the core bespeaks a man for whom art was a philosophical activity, a way of knowledge.” (

Barnett Newman «Broken Obelisk»

25 March 2017

Many of the cultural and art movements emerged of communities of artists, writers and musicians.

Dada, futurist, surrealist movements spread out of communities of intellectuais who had a disruptive attitude towards the past.

NY School is a more restrictive movement led by intellectuals of New York that integrated writers, poets, painters, musicians and dancers in the 50’s and 60’s. Inspired by previous avant-garde movements such as surrealism, they promoted active painting and abstract expressionism. Jazz was the rythm and experimental music and other vanguard expressions in music and dance were tried.

NY School poets would write about their everyday observations as Frank O’Hara in his Lunch Poems. They would write in «an immediate and spontaneous manner reminiscent of stream of consciousness writing, (as surrealists did) often using vivid imagery». Poets such as John Ashberry – , Barbara Guest, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, etc integrated this community.

John Cage – was one of the main musicians who exploited experimental music and other vanguard forms of silent-music –

These intellectuals would gather in pubs/taverns (in Europe they would gather in Café) and NY York School intellectuals would meet in Cedar Tavern in the 50’s.

NY School painters – were very diverse in their visual expression, Pollock with his drip technique, de Kooning with his layers and layers of paint in his Woman, overworked painting, with aggressive brush strokes and vivid colours.

NY School artists were close to the Beats Ginsberg and Kerouac.


Abstraction: Non-representational works of art that do not depict scenes or objects in the world or have discernible subject matter.

Abstract Expressionism: The dominant artistic movement in the 1940s and 1950s, Abstract Expressionism was the first to place New York City at the forefront of international modern art. The associated artists developed greatly varying stylistic approaches, but shared a commitment to an abstract art that powerfully expresses personal convictions and profound human values. They championed bold, gestural abstraction in all mediums, particularly large painted canvases.

Action Painting: Art critic Harold Rosenberg coined the term “action painting” in 1952 to describe the work of artists who painted using bold gestures that engaged more of the body than traditional easel painting. Often the viewer can see broad brushstrokes, drips, splashes, or other evidence of the physical action that took place upon the canvas.

Acrylic paint: A fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. A key difference between acrylic paint and oil paint is that acrylics are water-based whereas oils are oil-based. See Art Terms in Action video definition of Paint.

Alkyd Enamel Paint: Common household commercial paint made with a chemically modified version of linseed oil that dries quickly to a hard, often glossy finish.

Alligator Skinning: A texture that often forms on the surface of dry paints that have a very high medium content and an extended drying time.

Allover Painting: Refers to a canvas covered in paint from edge to edge and from corner to corner, in which each area of the composition is given equal attention and significance.

Animal skin glue: Natural adhesive created from animal bones, used in woodworking until synthetic glues were invented.

Binder: The material that holds the pigment together in paint and creates uniform consistency. Binder is often a liquid or an oil, like linseed oil, which is commonly used in oil paint. See Art Terms in Action video definition of Paint.

Calcium white: A white pigment often characterized by a warm tonality and significant transparency.

Chroma: The intensity of a given color.

Coating: Varnish applied after the painting has dried to unify its surface gloss. Coating often becomes yellow or gray with age.

Color Field Painting: Paintings of large areas of color, typically with no strong contrasts of tone or obvious focus of attention.

Commercially-Primed Canvas: A canvas that has been primed before being sold.

Cotton Duck: Also called cotton canvas, cotton duck is a common support for painting. It is typically cheaper than linen and has a lighter and warmer color.

Cubism: A term of derision used by a critic in 1908, Cubism describes the work of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and those influenced by them. Working side by side they developed a visual language whose geometric planes and compressed space challenged what had been the defining conventions of representation in Western painting—the relationship between solid and void, figure and ground. Traditional subjects—nudes, landscapes, and still lifes—were reinvented as increasingly fragmented compositions. Cubism’s influence extended to an international network of artists working in Paris in those years and beyond.

De Stijl: A term describing the abstraction pioneered by the Dutch journal De Stijl (The Style), founded in 1917 by the painter and architect Theo van Doesburg. This international group of artists working in all mediums renounced naturalistic representation in favor of a stripped-down formal vocabulary principally consisting of straight lines, rectangular planes, and primary color. In a response to the devastation wreaked by World War I, de Stijl artists aimed to achieve a visual harmony in art that could provide a blueprint for restoring order and balance to everyday life.

Emulsion: A uniform mixture of oily substances and watery substances, which do not ordinarily mix. Artists may add an emulsifier, like egg yolk, to such emulsions as oil paint and water in order to encourage mixing and stabilization. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Enamel Paint: A type of paint made from fine pigments and resin that is formulated to be very fluid and that dries to a hard, glossy finish. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Figurative Painting/Figuration: Painting with a clear, recognizable reference or representational depiction of a real world object or a human or animal form.

Figure/ground relationship: The relationship between a depicted form (the figure) and pictorial space (the ground). Figure/ground relationships are often used to describe the construction of space in representational paintings, but the term can also be used to understand abstract paintings such as those of Barnett Newman.

Gestural Painting: Often used interchangeably with Action Painting, gestural painting is defined by vigorous brushwork that often involves actions of the whole body rather than simply the hand and wrist.

Glaze: A thin coat of transparent or translucent paint used to modify the tone of an underlying color. Glazes can alter the chroma, value, texture, and hue of a surface. They are composed of a large amount of binder or solvent mixed with a very small amount of pigment.

Graphite: A soft, greasy mineral form of carbon with a steel-gray to black metallic luster, used as a drawing material. Until the eighteenth century, natural lump graphite was placed in bone or wood holders for application. Since the eighteenth century, powdered graphite has been mixed with clay and fired to create the hard sticks used in pencils. Graphite can also be used as a powder and applied to a support with implements such as rags, fingers, or rolled paper stumps. Powdered graphite can also be mixed with water for brush application.

Hue: A particular gradation of color; a shade or tint. Hue can also simply mean color.

Impasto: Thickly applied paint that dries and often retains the marks of the brush or palette knife with which it was applied. A pastose surface is one that is thickly painted.

Installation Art: An art form that comprises visual elements in any medium and the space they inhabit.

Latticework: Similarly styled brushstrokes creating a grid or pattern across the canvas.

Lead white: A very opaque, crisp white pigment that is seldom used today because of its toxicity.

Lining Brush: A long-bristled brush that tapers to a point. Because it can hold a considerable amount of paint, this brush can be used to make very long lines before needing to be reloaded with pigment. Traditionally used for painting lettering on signs.

Lining canvas: An additional canvas adhered to the original canvas by a conservator to provide additional support.

Linseed Oil: The most common binder for oil paints, made from flax seeds.

Mexican Muralist Movement: An art movement that began in Mexico in the early 1920s when Education Minister José Vasconcelos, in an effort to increase literacy, commissioned artists to create monumental didactic murals depicting Mexico’s history on the walls of government buildings. Artists associated with the movement include José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Minimalism: A primarily American artistic movement of the 1960s, characterized by simple geometric forms devoid of representational content. Relying on industrial technologies and rational processes, Minimalist artists challenged traditional notions of craftsmanship, using commercial materials such as fiberglass and aluminum, and often employing mathematical systems to determine the composition of their works.

Munsell Color System: There is no single commonly accepted terminology for color. This course uses the Munsell color system, which was developed in Germany around 1910 by painter, professor, and color theorist Albert H. Munsell, who wanted to describe color with the same degree of specificity with which we can speak about music. Based on rigorous measurements of people’s visual responses to color, the Munsell color system specifies and orders colors based on three dimensions: hue, value (lightness), and chroma (intensity or purity). In addition to being the simplest color system to grasp, it was employed by most of the New York School. See more on Wikipedia.

New York School: This term was coined after the School of Paris, a loosely defined affiliation of international artists—among them Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Fernand Leger—living and working in Paris from 1900 until about 1940. As in Paris, there wasn’t any actual school in New York where artists took classes. Although there were many schools that trained the New York avant-garde, the most fertile locations of their education probably weren’t schools at all, but were rather a bar called the Cedar Tavern and a meeting space around the corner called The Club.

In addition to describing visual artists of the New York avant-garde in the mid-20th century, the New York School also refers to poets, composers, and to many dancers, choreographers, prose writers, and jazz musicians. Many of the key figures in each of these artistic circles formed close personal and aesthetic relationships, and the creative influence and collaboration among their various media were much more substantial than in New York today. The New York School term encompasses Abstract Expressionism and is sometimes used interchangeably with it.

Oil paint: Type of paint made with linseed oil and pigment. See Art Terms in Action video definition of Paint.

Opaque: Impenetrable to light.

Palette Knife: A type of spatula typically used to mix paint on the palette, but sometimes also used to apply or remove paint from the canvas. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Period Frames: Frames that relate to the period when the painting was made.

Pictorial space: The illusory space behind the picture plane of a painting.

Pictorial: Picture-like and representational in quality.

Pigment: Pigment is the colored portion of paint, often a finely ground powder that can be either natural or artificially produced. See Art Terms in Action video definition of Paint.

Pop art: A movement comprising initially British, then American artists in the 1950s and 1960s. Pop artists borrowed imagery from popular culture—from sources including television, comic books, and print advertising—often to challenge conventional values propagated by the mass media, from notions of femininity and domesticity to consumerism and patriotism. Their often subversive and irreverent strategies of appropriation extended to their materials and methods of production, which were drawn from the commercial world.

Primary/Secondary Colors: A primary color is one that cannot be made from a combination of any other colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. A secondary color is made by combining two primary colors, for example, the combination of the primary colors red and yellow make the secondary color orange. More from New York University.

Raking light: Bright light, usually beamed obliquely, used to reveal such things as surface texture and detail.

Rods and cones: The photoreceptor cells in our eyes responsible for our sensitivity to light and color.

Surrealism: An artistic and literary movement led by French poet André Breton from 1924 through World War II. Drawing on the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, the Surrealists sought to overthrow what they perceived as the oppressive rationalism of modern society by accessing the sur réalisme (superior reality) of the subconscious. In his 1924 “Surrealist Manifesto,” Breton argued for an uninhibited mode of expression derived from the mind’s involuntary mechanisms, particularly dreams, and called on artists to explore the uncharted depths of the imagination with radical new methods and visual forms. These ranged from abstract “automatic” drawings to hyper-realistic painted scenes inspired by dreams and nightmares to uncanny combinations of materials and objects.

Saturation: A saturated color has a wet appearance. Saturated colors are often lower value and higher chroma than unsaturated colors. A saturated color in paint may be obtained by adding medium or by varnishing a painted surface after it dries.

Shade: In painting, a color plus black

Stain: Paint thinned with solvent and applied to the canvas like a wash. Rather than remaining on the surface, a stain is absorbed into the canvas. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Tacking margins: The outside edges or sides of the painting where tacks or staples may be used to hold the canvas in place.

Tint: In painting, a color plus white; a shade or variety of color. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Tone: In painting, a color plus gray; the lightness or darkness of a color. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Translucent: Allowing light, but not detailed images, to pass through; semitransparent.

Transparent: Allowing light to pass through so that objects or images behind can be distinctly seen; see-through.

Turpentine Burn: A turpentine burn is made by soaking a rag in solvent and scrubbing the canvas directly. This technique removes paint and leaves a stain on the canvas. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Unstretched canvas: A canvas that remains loose and has not been stretched over stretcher bars. Jackson Pollock and others often preferred to paint on unstretched canvas.

Unprimed canvas: A canvas that has not been primed prior to painting.

Unsized canvas: A canvas that has not been sized prior to painting.

Urethane: A synthetic resin that is extremely strong and often glossy. Urethanes can be used in adhesives, sealants, and enamel paints.

Varnish: Transparent, hard protection or film, like a drying oil, that is often applied to paintings to seal and protect the surface.

Viscosity: The thickness of a liquid. See Art Terms in Action video definition.

Velocity: Term for measurement of speed, often used with “viscosity” and “muscular” to describe gestural painting.

24 March 2017

MoMA launched the MOOC In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Panting in Coursera platforn on the 24th March 2017 – 

« 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.»

 Week 1 readings:Ann Temkin. “Abstract Expressionism at The Museum of Modern Art.” In Abstract Expressionism at The Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art, 2010, 17-25. If you’d  to purchase the  publication, visit .MoMA Learning: Abstract Expressionism

Art Critics Comparison: Clement Greenberg vs. Harold Rosenberg.” The Art Story.

Additional Readings & Resources

Isaac Kaplan. “What Makes an Abstract Expressionist Painting Good?”, December 21, 2016.

AB EX NY iPad App, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010.