“Thomas Bayrle: One Day on Success Street” is a major survey and first American museum presentation dedicated to the renowned German artist. 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.
“Thomas Bayrle: One Day On Success Street” is organized by ICA Miami and curated by Alex Gartenfeld, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, and Stephanie Seidel, Associate Curator.
This exhibition is funded through the Knight Contemporary Art Fund at The Miami Foundation. Major support is provided by Deutsche Bank; Saks Fifth Avenue; the Arlene H. & Laurans A. Mendelson Charitable Foundation; and the Ray Ellen and Allan Yarkin Fund for Exhibitions at ICA Miami. Additional support is provided by Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.