Now the Tate Gallery unveils an even bigger pile of bricks

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The Tate Gallery in London yesterday revived memories of a quarter of a century ago by unveiling its latest work - a four-metre high brick wall.

The 30-metre long structure, made up of four separate sections through which visitors are encouraged to wander, was commissioned by the gallery.

In 1972, critics were outraged when the Tate bought Equivalent VIII - popularly known as "the pile of bricks" - by Carl Andre, although that sculpture was much smaller in scale and lay on the floor.

The Danish artist behind the latest work, Per Kirkeby, 59, who has created more than 100 brick structures around Europe, yesterday defended his sculpture and said the choice of materials did not mean it was not artistic. "People say bricks are not art, bricks are bricks. But then paintings are just made of paint," he said. "Materials are just materials, but you can use them in a way that what comes out of it is art."

The latest work is a series of four walls which run down the centre of one gallery. On the walls of the gallery are a number of his paintings and the idea is for the viewer to emerge from between the bricks to get a different perspective of the paintings, rather than stand directly in front of them.Exhibition curator Sean Rainbird said: "Essentially what it does is make you look at the paintings in a certain way."

The work took a team of up to eight bricklayers two weeks to complete, using 20,000 bricks donated by manufacturers Ibstock. The exhibition also features a collection of the artist's bronze casts.

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