This month’s High Line Billboard installation for the elevated park’s public art program is its second recent automotive artwork, following Virginia Overton’s unexpectedly interactive brick-wall-in-a-pickup piece: Thomas Bayrle’s 1970 work “American Dream” features the outline of a Chrysler sedan made up of hundreds of the U.S. automaker’s old logo like some Chrysler-branded Magic Eye game.
“All works by Thomas Bayrle showcase how the individual and the mass fit together,” High Line Art curator Cecilia Alemani says in the exhibition description. “In ‘American Dream’ Bayrle looks at two foundations of American culture: advertisement and the car industry. It’s the perfect work for a society obsessed with Mad Men.”
The German artist’s installation, on view through October 31, is the sixth in the High Line Art billboard program and follows pieces by David Shrigley, John Baldessari, Elad Lassry, and more. It marks the series’ most clever engagement with conventional billboard imagery to date, replicating the visual language of advertising all the while producing an image that is unintelligible at first glance.
— Benjamin Sutton