ThomasBayrle

Biography

Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937 in Berlin, Germany, lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany) is a German artist who, working between painting, graphics, printmaking, and technology, has highlighted the interplay between serial production processes and symbols and icons of consumerism in mass culture. He apprenticed as a weaver, turning his interest toward pattern design and eventually printmaking. In 1961, together with Bernhard Jäger, he founded the art book publishing house Gulliver-Presse, during which he developed his primary pictorial form based on the rhythmic repetition of miniature visual elements reconfigured to create larger compositions. Inspired as much by Pop Art as by the Frankfurt School, Bayrle’s so-called “superforms” represent a debunking metaphor for capitalist society with its tendency towards accumulation, oversaturation, serial duplication, and consumerism. From 1969 to 1972, Bayrle headed the creative studio Bayrle and Kellermann – The Makers of Display together with Hans Jörg Kellermann, working on advertisements for Ferrero sweets and fashion designers such as Pierre Cardin. Bayrle’s oeuvre also includes large-scale compositions, wallpapers, sculptures, and three-dimensional objects, as well as computer-generated images. Throughout his career, Bayrle has received numerous awards and honors, including the Prix Ars Electronica (1995), the KUNSTKÖLN Prize (2000, since 2006, the Cologne Fine Art Prize), and the Arnold Bode Prize (2012). He has taken part in three editions of documenta (1964, 1977, 2012) and has had major retrospectives at the MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2009), the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (2017), and The New Museum, New York (2018).