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 a newly commissioned site-specific installation created for ICA Miami’s Atrium Gallery. 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.