In his new exhibition “Cowboy Tapestry Pietà” at Air de Paris, Thomas Bayrle moves from one medium to another, from the distortion of a once-artisanal motif to the digitally inflected. We find this happening in his installation Capsel, 25 photographs from 1984–1985 documenting the making of a monumental collage showing a man and a woman in bed. The gallery also offers a sneak preview of three new works linked to the project Pietà for World War I, an imposing tapestry produced in association with Aubusson to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Tapestry is a medium Bayrle is particularly familiar with: in 1956 he began training as a weaver in a textile plant, an experience that accounts for the specific character of his work, as well as his fascination with various tools for mechanising and duplicating woven representations. This image-within-image approach is interspersed with representatives of a certain form of modernity and mass production: thus we find new Madonnas at freeway interchanges, and Andrea Mantegna seemingly in dialogue with the beaches at Rimini.