Thomas Bayrle

Thomas Bayrle

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Thomas Bayrle, Wallpaper image from Feuer im Weizen, 1970. Maerzverlag. Courtesy Thomas Bayrle / Hans Widauer.

January 30, 2013

Thomas Bayrle

9 February–12 May 2013

Opening: Friday 8 February, 19h
Press preview: Thursday 7 February, 14:30h

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels, Belgium

WIELS is presenting the first large survey exhibition of German artist Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937, lives and works in Frankfurt) in Belgium.

Bayrle is an influential and pioneering figure whose work has been featured in seminal international exhibitions (Documenta 3, 6 and 13, the 50th Venice Biennale, etc.). He has been an important reference for several generations of artists through his teaching (he taught at the well-known Städelschule from 1975 to 2002). Over the past four decades, Bayrle has built up a coherent body of work, one that triggers alienation through obsessive repetitions that played a fundamental role in what we now know as Pop, serial and Op art.

In the 1960s, Bayrle started to produce works based on the serial repetition of the same pattern, a move inspired by structuralism, which was proving extremely influential for minimal, Pop and conceptual art. These results set the foundations for his singular visual language, perceptible no matter the media: collage, painting, sculpture, film or printed matter. At once critical and engaged, his practice emerged from or has been directly related to the protest movements of the times. Like his neighbours at the Frankfurt School, he was—and remains to this day—interested in mass culture and in propaganda methods. At the height of the Cold War, Bayrle’s work incorporated the very symbols that both capitalist and communist societies had been forging on either side of the Iron Curtain.

The exhibition All-in-One, a title inspired by a Buddhist proverb that was made into a marketing tool, offers a broad overview of Bayrle’s career, from the first painted kinetic machines to his most recent work. The exhibition is organized, not chronologically, but in such a way as to bring out the many themes and patterns that form the running thread of his oeuvre: consumer society, political propaganda, new technologies, sexuality, religion, urban development, etc.

The exhibition curated is by Devrim Bayar.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication, co-produced by WIELS, the Goethe-Institut Brussels and Walther König Verlag.

Complementary programme:

20 February (FR) & 28 March (EN): Look Who’s Talking: Devrim Bayar
Talk and guided tour of the exhibition by the curator

28 February: Marta Kuzma on Thomas Bayrle
Talk by Marta Kuzma, Curator and Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) on the work of Thomas Bayrle

13 March: Look Who’s Talking: Thomas Bayrle
Talk and guided tour of the exhibition by the artist

27 March: Pierre-Yves Desaive on Thomas Bayrle
Talk by art historian, critic and professor at La Cambre Pierre-Yves Desaive on the work of Thomas Bayrle.

21 April: Concert of SUD (Sergej Jensen, Stefan Müller & Micha Schulze)
Nearly 20 years after their first album and a legendary performance at Galerie Fruchtig in Frankfurt in 1996, Sud are back.

12 May: Finissage with a screening of Helke Bayrle’s film Portikus Under Construction, followed by a conversation with the director of the film

Contemporary Art Centre
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels, Belgium
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11–18h
T +32 (0)2 340 00 53

Press contact
Micha Pycke, micha.pycke [​at​] / T +32 (0)2 340 00 51 / M +32 (0)486 680 070

Thomas Bayrle at WIELS, Brussels
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January 30, 2013

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