On View> “Thomas Bayrle: Chrysler Tapete” Opens September 6 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Thomas Bayrle: Chrysler Tapete
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO
September 6, 2013 to October 27, 2013
From September 6 to October 27, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and chief curator Dominic Molon present Chrysler Tapete (1970) as part of the institution’s ongoing Front Room program. One of a series of wallpaper works that German artist Thomas Bayrle has produced since the late 1960s, Chrysler Tapete features the repeated image of an automobile until its distinctiveness subsides into a colossal collectiveness. The purpose is to signify the tension between positive, shared experiences and the feeling of oppressive uniformity. Bayrle, a leader in European Pop Art—frequently referred to as Grey Pop—continues to experiment with painting, sculpture, fashion, and graphic design and currently lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Through solo and group exhibitions, his objective is to uncover how our society of mass production and consumption influences our understanding of the world. Bayrle investigates how physical space, scale, and pattern influence the observer. Chrysler Tapete, consisting of silkscreen print on paper, has an intense visual presence that provides visitors with a new way to experience the exhibition space itself, a fitting role as the installation coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Contemporary Art Museum’s building.
Buried deep in a New York Times article on Fiat’s proposed alliance with sad old Chrysler is a detail that will make many architects happy. As part of the deal, Chrysler will build small cars for the American market, like the Cinquecento-styled Fiat 500. But more to the design point, Chrysler will also start building Alfa Romeos for the domestic market. As it has long been the favorite of architects—from the Italian Futurists to Craig Hodgetts—let’s hope the design of the new Alfas remains in Italy with Bertone and Pininfarina. And not in Detroit.