Trained as a weaver and graphic designer in the 1950s, he was one of the first artists in Germany to work with computer-generated images; with its early embrace of serialism, his production shared many concerns with American pop art.
Bayrle brings an aesthetic sensibility to an investigation of the social laws that organize individuality and masses, drawing on the everyday realities in which people live and the world of consumer products around him for motifs. He regards the growth of urban structures and means of mass transportation as a cycle that is fueled by, and in turn fuels, economic activity—structures he examines with a critical eye, but also with a keen awareness of his own involvement as a consumer and participant. At documenta 13, Bayrle presented engines he had cut open to visualize the aesthetic of machinery as well as the rhythm and condition of human life in the mass society. Bayrle’s work was on view at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2009 and at documenta, Kassel, in 1964, 1977, and 2012.