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Thomas Bayrle
American Dream

October 1 – 31, 2012
Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

A pioneer of Pop and Conceptual Art in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, Thomas Bayrle investigates the power of images in the context of advertising and mass iconography. For more than five decades, he has generated works composed by assembling myriad small, often distorted images that highlight, at times metaphorically, the relationship between individual forms and mass.

For the High Line, Bayrle presents American Dream, a visual illusion of a classic Chrysler sedan, generated through hundreds of warped stars featuring the car company’s iconic logo. The image is taken from a 1970 drawing by the artist. Fascinated by Western contemporary society’s obsession with cars, highways, traffic, and roads, Bayrle’s image fuses political commentaries on capitalism and American car culture, while at the same time reflecting on the role of advertising.

Photos by Austin Kennedy.

Thomas Bayrle

Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937, Germany) lives and works in Frankfurt. Recent solo exhibitions include Wiels, Brussels (2013); Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York (2012 and 2006); Air de Paris, Paris (2012); Die Sammlung Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2010); Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona (2009); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2008); Museum of Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2006); Art Unlimited, Art Basel, Basel (2005); State Opera, Vienna (2003); and Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan (2001). Major biennials include Documenta 13, Kassel (2012); 8th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2010); 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice (2009); Athens Biennial, Athens (2009); Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2008); Brussels Biennial, Brussels (2008); Lyon Biennial, Lyon (2007); 4th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2006); 50th Venice Biennale, Venice (2003); Documenta 6, Kassel (1977); and Documenta 3, Kassel (1964).


High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is supported by Vital Projects Fund, Inc., and, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. In-kind support provided by Maharam.

Space for High Line Billboard is donated by

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