Letter: 'House' raises questions of art

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Sir: Is there any hope for art? We now see (Letters, 30 November) an associate editor of the once-venerable Burlington Magazine joining the mewlings and wheedlings of Modernist art critics and administrators against the eminently enlightened decision of the Bow Neighbourhood Committee to see an end to Rachel Whiteread's House.

The truth of the matter is that House is not, properly speaking, a piece of sculpture or a work of art. It is a concrete cast of the interior space of a house - an ordinary, unmodified house. This 'work' does not represent an artist's idea of a house or of its association or anything - it is a literal filling of space with reinforced concrete. It could have been done by anyone, at any time, anywhere. There was nothing special about the house. There is nothing special about a cast of its interior spaces.

To foist such an ugly monument to non-imagination on the open green space of a working-class neighbourhood is to be doubly offensive. First, to the inhabitants, and second, to those artists who remember that the point of art is to work with materials in order to give expression to, or - if you will - make concrete, ideas.

Yours sincerely,


East Barnet, Hertfordshire

30 November