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Thomas Bayrle: One Day On Success Street

On view Nov 29, 2016 – Mar 26, 2017

“One Day on Success Street” is a major survey and first American museum presentation dedicated to the renowned German artist Thomas Bayrle. The exhibition traces Bayrle’s exploration of the profoundly complex impact of technology on humans and their environments over the course of his nearly 50-year career and across a range of mediums.

Featuring some 75 works from 1960s through the present day, the exhibition begins with Bayrle’s handmade representations of highways expressively rendered as elaborate landscapes. In a related series of works, these motifs evolve into modern cities and waves of pedestrians set into interminable grids. At the center of Bayrle’s focus is the experience of the urban citizen and the artist—in works from the 1980s, landscapes and architectures unfold into surreal human figures. Bayrle’s preoccupation with figures like Carlos the Jackal, considered the world’s first terrorist, explore experiences of alienation and trauma. By contrast, works from the series “Feuer im Weizen” (Fire in the Wheat), which incorporates renderings of sexual acts, are expressions of fascination and joy, of mutation and fracture. Characteristic of Bayrle’s references to commercial icons and consumer culture, the works reflect the artist’s interest in the transformation of popular figures in a media-saturated world.

Known for his prescient depictions of mega cities and bodies consumed by machines, Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937, Berlin) is a Frankfurt-based artist whose works spans mediums and movements including Pop, Op, and Conceptual art. His humorous and satirical multi-media works are characterized by “super- forms,” large images composed of repetitive smaller cell-like patterns. His work is influenced by his experience of growing up in post-Nazi Germany, where he trained and worked as an industrial weaver. Other major influences include the Frankfurt School of political and aesthetic theory and his collaborations on corporate identities with international corporations.

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Image of Thomas Bayrle, Wire Madonna, 2016 at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami)
Thomas Bayrle, Wire Madonna, 2016. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.
Image of Thomas Bayrle, Strand (Beach), 1982
Thomas Bayrle, Strand (Beach), 1982. Photograph collage. Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt.
Installation view: Thomas Bayrle
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio.