Enough about modernism. I think the division of western art in abstract and figurative or realistic streams, is a big error. For an essential dichotomy we have to look for long term differences between main traditions in the history of at least a couple of millennia, instead of such a recent and superficial controverse. Why didn’t that happen before? 


Mind you, I’m not holding a grudge against Lars Spuybroek.  I’d rather be proud of a compatriot who is operating successfully on a global level and whose design for the new Twin Towers I remember in a positive way for its daring abstract style. I didn’t even know him by name though and only became aware of him through his interview in my morning paper less than a month ago. I don’t have any intention to annoy him and I took his youngest book “The sympathy of things” completely serious. But.


In the Netherlands we have a State’s  Architect, who has considerable power in national building policy, selection of architects for large projects, and the application of sculpture in public space.
At the end of the fifties of the last century  a new state’s architect was installed, and one of his first acts was the unveiling of the then youngest monument for the victims of the second world war. Numerous older ones were already present everywhere, all in a realistic, figurative, often symbolic and heroic style.