The Easel

Make America decay again – Thomas Cole and Ed Ruscha review

Cole’s five paintings, The Courses of Empire, are a highlight of 19th century American art. They depict the rise and fall of a grand empire, telling a story of transience. In the same exhibition is a contemporary homage to these works by Ed Ruscha. “The doomed empire Cole imagined inevitably looks like the USA … Ruscha [has] a colder eye. [He] shrugs and walks on”.