ICA Miami

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press release

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA) presents “One Day on Success Street,” 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 including painting, sculpture, video, collage, and installation. A centerpiece of the survey will be Wire Madonna, a newly commissioned site-specific installation created for ICA Miami’s Atrium Gallery that sees the artist interpreting the icon of Madonna and Child in steel, marking the artist’s largest sculpture to date. The exhibition marks ICA Miami’s final presentation in the landmark Moore Building, as it prepares for the opening of its new permanent home in the Miami Design District in late 2017.

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.

About Thomas Bayrle
Known for his prescient depictions of mega cities and bodies consumed by machines, Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937) 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.

Bayrle has been honored with countless solo exhibitions, including at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Madre Museum, Naples; WIELS, Brussels; Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt; and Portikus, Frankfurt. Recent major group exhibitions include: “The Great Mother,” Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy; “The World Goes Pop,” Tate Modern, London, UK; “Heaven,” 2nd Athens Biennial, Athens, Greece; “Making Worlds,” La Biennale di Venezia, 53rd International Art Exhibition, Arsenale, Venice, Italy; 2008 Sydney Biennial, Sydney, Australia; “4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art: Of Mice and Men / Of Mice and Men,” KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; and Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China; as well as dOCUMENTA 3 (1964), 6 (1977), and 13 (2012). In 2012, he was awarded the Arnold Bode Prize and was also commissioned by Frieze London to create installations for the fair’s public spaces. More recently, Bayrle’s work was included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s International Pop exhibition, a group show that chronicled the emergence of Pop Art as an international movement. Bayrle’s work is included in major collections, including Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Städelmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germany; Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain du Limousin, Limoges, France; Seattle Art Museum, Washington; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.

The exhibition is organized by Alex Gartenfeld, Deputy Director & Chief Curator, and Stephanie Seidel, Assistant Curator.