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Ed Ruscha sixty-year career has helped to shape the way we view the American landscape with elegant, highly distilled, and often very humorous works.
Course of Empire is his modern take on the cyclical nature of civilisation, and was inspired by Thomas Cole's 19th-century series of the same name. But unlike Cole's rather grandiose vision of classical civilisations, Ruscha's version focuses on the grimy and box-like industrial buildings of Los Angeles. He eschews the beautiful buildings and highlights the economic might and global reach of America today.
Craig’s review of National Gallery – “Do you know what the nicest thing about the National Gallery in the evening is? -- the peace and quiet. I was walking here from Leicester Square five minutes ago and it was all busy busy busy. Pavements heaving, people jostling bustling barging elbows out, running everywhere, cars all over the place, sirens blaring. And then you walk through the gallery double doors a… continued”
Courtauld Impressionists — From Manet to Cezanne – 17 Sep 2018 to 20 Jan 2019 – The National Gallery will be putting on an exhibition of Impressionist works by Cezanne, Renoir, Manet and more.
Italian Renaissance painters, Mantegna and Bellini – 1 Oct 2018 to 27 Jan 2019 – The National Gallery will be putting on an exhibition of works by the Italian Renaissance painters Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna.
Sketchbook Tour of the National Gallery – 27 Oct, 3, 24 Nov and 1 Dec 2018 – Get your sketchbook and pencil ready for ninety minutes of drawing famous paintings at the National Gallery.
Lorenzo Lotto Portraits — at the National Gallery – 5 Nov 2018 to 10 Feb 2019 – The National Gallery will be putting on an exhibition of works by the Italian Renaissance portrait artist, Lorenzo Lotto.
Poster Girls — A century of art and design – 13 Oct 2017 to 1 Jan 2019 – Poster Girls celebrates the work of female designers who worked for London Transport over the last 100 years
Drop-in Drawing at the National Portrait Gallery – Every Fri – Enjoy a free drop-in drawing session at the National Portrait Gallery, amongst some of the gallery's great works of art.
Sir Richard Wallace — The Collector – 20 Jun 2018 to 6 Jan 2019 – The Wallace Collection's new exhibition will highlight the contributions made by the museum's founder, Sir Richard Wallace.
Find more art exhibitions this month
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
If you enjoy National Gallery then you might like to visit Courtauld Gallery (walk it in 12 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Temple), National Portrait Gallery (you can walk there in less than 1 min), Royal Academy of Arts (you can walk it 10 mins), Tate Britain (walk it in 26 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Pimlico) and Wallace Collection (walk it in 26 mins or catch the tube from Charing Cross to Bond Street)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans