This is the ultimate Pop Art meets Erotic Art, or at least a fusion of Andy Warhol and Bridget Riley at the fringes of Sex Commercialisation. Thomas Bayerle’s portfolio Feuer im Weizen (Fire in the Wheat) first appeared in 1970, consisting of just nine lithographs, followed shortly afterwards by a book with the same title extending the series to 24 of his trademark repeating-pattern sheets. Each is based on a few elements, often repeated to create a larger image.
Feuer im Weizen is very much a product of its time – the source images are simplified and crudely-coloured suit-and-suspenders line art, and the image manipulation, while very much at the leading edge of what was possible with 1970 computers, now seems very contrived. It is hard from the standpoint of half a century later to remember that computer graphics were still in their infancy at the time, and how experimental Bayerle’s creations were.
We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.