Thomas Bayrle

Blaue Kuhtapete/Blue Cow Wallpaper
Wallpaper, variable dimensions
Work acquired in 2015

1967

Born in 1937 in Berlin, Thomas Bayrle lives and works in Frankfurt (Germany). He is represented by the following galleries: Air de Paris (Paris), Gavin Brown’s enterprise (New York / Rome) and Francesca Pia (Zurich).

Thomas Bayrle is one of the pioneers of the Pop art movement in Germany, as well as digital art. In his work, he expresses himself through installations, animation, films, photographs, graphic works, sculptures and objects. Bayrle initially trained in industrial weaving before studying advertising design and fine art printing and indeed, references to the field of weaving, such as warp and weft, are omnipresent in his work. The German artist explores the structures of power and domination in a rapidly globalizing economy and makes use of images and icons from mass industrial production in order to explore such themes. The result are “superforms”: large composite images born from the multiplication and juxtaposition of the same iconic image.

In 1967, Bayrle used The Laughing Cow® logo for the first time in the Mädchen/Girl superform. The same year, he produced Blaue Kuhtapete/Blue Cow Wallpaper, which echoes the principles behind his prolific wallpaper series beginning in the late 1960s. In these, the individual elements are repeated until their individuality collapses into an immense ensemble, suggesting tensions between a positive, collective experience and a stifling sense of uniformity.

In Blaue Kuhtapete/Blue Cow Wallpaper, the icon of the flagship brand of the Bel Group has been reduced to a minimalist white sketch on a blue background by a process of simplification that helps to reinforce its graphic power. The German artist strips the icon of some of its attributes and primary function and, through its large-scale multiplication, endows it with a purely figurative function.