Born 1930 in Hannover, to German-Swiss parents. School in Zürich from 1943 onwards. 1947-1951 training at the Berner Kunstgewerbeschule, in graphics and lithography. During this period first contacts with other artists like Daniel Spoerri, Marcel Wyss and Franz Eggenschwiler.
Co-founder and – editor of the journal “Spirale” (1953-) which specialises on literature, theoretical texts and Druckgraphik. Works as designer and ad graphics Werbegestalter in Basel, Bern, Kopenhagen, and New York. 1957 Roth moves to Iceland.
His work in the 50s is characterised as “constructive”. An exhibition of Jean Tinguely 1960 in Basel deeply impressed Roth and lead to a change in his approach. Representative for this period of change are the two works “14 Zeitungs-Illustrationen” (1963/64) and the first “Literaturwurst” (1961). During this period Roth creates a large number of book objects in which newspapers are integrated as material.
For the work following thereafter, found materials are essential. In 1974 Roth creates a “Literaturwurst” out of the 20 volumes oeuvre of G.W.F. Hegel. He increasingly turns to organic materials, such as spices, fruit, chocolate and sausages, which he encloses in plexiglas or plastic foil and leaves to rot.
The medium of the book is inseparably connected with Dieter Roth. His first “Kinderbuch” appears in 1957. In 1971, he edits his collected works together with the Edition Hansjörg Mayer. Roth is co-founder of several publishing companies, such as Dieter Roth’s Verlag, Taucher Verlag, Wasserpresse, Regenverlag. In the late 70s/early 80s, he produces copied diaries, using notebooks from the 60s.
In the 80s, Roth takes on a more documentary approach; also, his works expand into space. His installations are arbitrary collections of objects; often they stand in his atelier for years and are constantly changed.
Dieter Roth died June 5, 1998, from heart failure, in Basel.
Roth page at the Sammlung Essl: http://sammlung-essl.at/deutsch/kuenstler/roth/portrait.htm
Biography and works (German): http://www.bonner-kunstverein.de/artothek/artokat/a_z/roth_d.htm
Article about the Dieter-Roth-Museum in Hamburg: http://www.art-in.de/incmu2.php?id=157
Roth works at the Gallery Anne Moerchen: http://www.galerie-anne-moerchen.de/virtuel/frdr1.htm