| b. April 21, 1930,
aka Diter Rot
| d. June 5, 1998
News:a new film about the artist: Dieter Roth - Puzzle will be show in London, October, 2008. How can we bring this film to the US?
He was named one of the Top 10 of the 90's by Daniel Birnbaum (director of IASPIS ) in the December '99 issue of Artforum magazine. And there is a column in Umbrella dedicated to him.
See the Bibliography put together by the Dieter Roth Foundation., and also on ArtNet
Diter and the Clouds, a Legend by Dick Higgins, is a nice poem referring to Diter Rot. I was going to ask the author for permission to display it here, but he also passed away very recently (December, 1998; Read the Tribute in Colophon). . I hope nobody minds.
Here is what Herr Rot says of himself:
"When I was born, I found myself, so I have been told, at a place in Germany, which I found the most horrible place to be, early or late in life. Horribly screaming Germans everywhere ... All three Germans, Englishmen, Americans from Northamerica, as bloodthirsty at that time as the silly French ... Then I was brought to Switzerland, my horribly Christian Home Country. There were those murderous, butchering people, called solders and defenders of Freedom ... I fell into that awfully black hole called Matrimony, and I struggled there, horribly kicking, fucking and pissing in my timid little pants for seven years. ... Running around different countries, all the same though I find myself a dweller of butchershops, cannibal of fate, rage, tears, fears and shit, piss, blood and shit, a bastard of fear, murderous Hangover from Hell. Pissing in his awfully shitting, pissing, shitting trousers, called his pants, of fears and tears, Hangover from shitfucking places like Hell, Germany, U.S.A., England, France, China, Russia, Heaven, God, Angels, Christ, Buddha, Shit, Piss, and Fear."(1977)
'Stupidogramme' (band 9 of his Gesammelte Werk (Collected Works)) is an example of 'Book Art', art in the medium of a book. Rot was an innovator in this field. I especially like '246 Little Clouds'.
Another of his great obsessions was food. Alas, due to the transitory nature of food (an essential aspect of these works) we shall never experience these works again. Rot worked in sweets, sausage, cheese, anything. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Richard Hamilton in 1974:
RH: Some of the work which you have done seems like a satire on abstract expressionism. The things you do with food seem like a way of ridiculing the involvement with media and for its own sake. Is that a consious thing at all?
DR: No. I think what I consciously did when I smeared cheese, or whatever it was, on something, was very serious and sentimental and romantic. It was real German tough stuff. But it was interpreted as irony, which it was not.
DR: I've found this trick - that whatever, as an artist, you do and don't like, you pour some stuff over it, and it will turn out to be marvelous! Everybody likes it, either for the reason that it seems to be ironical or for the reason that it seems to be lyrical, as you say.
Text/Messages: Books by Artists Walker Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), December 18, 2008 - April 19, 2009
Front Room: Dieter Roth & Rachel Harrison Baltimore Museum of Art, October 12, 2008–January 4, 2009
Dieter Roth: the collected works (artists books) grahame galleries + editions (Australia) November 22, 2008 - December 5, 2008
Arnulf Rainer - Dieter Roth - Mixing and Seperating Belveder (Orangery - Vienna) 26 September 2008 to 11 January 2009
Invisible Rays: The Surrealism Legacy Rose Art Museum (Brandeis U, MA) Sept. 26 to Dec. 14, 2008
Drawings at Gladstone (NY),April 5 - May 3, 2008
At Home Lincart (San Francisco), 9/16/2008 - 10/25/2008
Old News at Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN), February 16th – March 22nd, 2008
Roth Time: A Dieter Roth Retrospective
March 12 - June 7, 2004 at the Museum of Modern Art (Queens)
"the first comprehensive museum overview of the work of Swiss artist Dieter Roth (19301998), one of the most influential European artists of the postwar period."
Dieter Roth Museum and the Dieter Roth Foundation, pages are in German....
Featured in Eat Art at Harvard
A panel discussion held Feb. 20 at the I Space covered issues of collecting, definitions of 'book art', concrete poetry, fun, money, hands-on vs. hands off, and other interesting topics. The panel include Ira Wool, noted collector of Roth.
Roth was relentless creative in the field of Art books. A good start is the catogue to "Die Bücher der Künstler"
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