Friday evening found myself and The Paintings In My Gallery meeting up in the CAFE at the National Portrait Gallery for some post-work ART. We met in the NPG cafe purely because of its handy location and charming ambience, the fact that it was HAPPY HOUR (2 for one on BOOZE) had absolutely nothing to do with it!
Once refreshed from the working week we wandered round the corner to the National Gallery to go and see the Ed Ruscha: Course Of Empire exhibition. We had a bit of trouble finding it because we didn't know how to pronounce "Ruscha", and the staff we asked seemed not to understand. "Rothko? Not here..." began one, before a lengthy discussion on that particular artist. Eventually we repeated it enough times (and actually almost correctly!) before she went "Oh RUSCHA!" and pointed us along the corridor.
The aforementioned Dates In My Diary had picked this exhibition to look at because she thought it would be compliant with our interests, and she was CORRECT, for it was ACE! It was two sets of five paintings, one done in black and white in the 90s, depicting the rooftops of various small town businesses, the other the same buildings in colour about ten years later. The two versions of each scene were shown together and it was DEAD GOOD. It told a story (it was on because it was named after Thomas Cole's Eden To Empire which was showing elsewhere in the gallery), it was FUN, it was FREE and also it was VERY SHORT - all ten paintings were hanging in the same room, so you could stand in the middle, turn 360 degrees, and see THE LOT.
It was fab and I would highly recommend it, especially if you can get to the NPG Happy Hour beforehand!