WIELS Contemporary Art Centre announces Thomas Bayrle All-in-One

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre presents Thomas Bayrle All-in-One, the first large survey exhibition of German artist Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937, lives and works in Frankfurt) in Belgium. On view 9 February–12 May 2013.

Thomas Bayrle All-in-One WIELS Contemporary Art Centre

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.

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels, Belgium

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