1930 to 1950 Germany, Switzerland


Born as Karl-Dietrich Roth on April 21,1930 in Hanover as one of three sons of a German mother and a Swiss father working as a merchant.


Attends primary school in Hanover-Döhren.


Attends secondary school in Hanover.


Roth is accommodated with foster parents in Zurich. At the hotel run by the family Fritz Wyss, where Roth will remain for three years, Jewish and communist artists and actors also reside during the war. In this environment Roth begins to write poetry and to create his first drawings, pastels, and watercolours.


Roth’s parents move to Switzerland and the whole family takes up residence in Herisau. Roth attends secondary school in St Gallen. He produces his first etching on tin sheet metal and his first oil paintings.


Roth drops out of school and starts an apprenticeship as a graphic designer with Friedrich Wüthrich in Bern (until 1951). There he becomes acquainted with all of the significant printing techniques. He creates linocuts and wood engravings. Roth meets Eggenschwiler and Paul Thalmann.


Roth makes his first collages with painted scrap metal. He suffers a nervous breakdown and attempts suicide.

1950 to 1959 Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland


Roth is given private lessons in lithography by Eugen Jordi in Kehrsatz and together with Bernhard Luginbühl attends Jordi’s class in typography at the trade school in Bern. Unable to find a position as a graphic artist after completing his apprenticeship, Roth begins to work as a visual artist. Roth’s first attempt to refuse military service fails.


The artist earns his living with casual labour on construction sites. He paints further watercolours. Roth gets acquainted with Marcel Wyss and Eugen Gomringer. Jointly they establish the periodical spirale of which nine issues are published between 1953 and 1964.


Cleaning of the Jesuit Church in Solothurn. In a garage Roth creates the large-format work that is later called Solothurner Wandbild (Solothurn Wall Painting), which since 1995 is housed at the art museum in Solothurn. He produces the unique print Ex libris Franz. He is exempted from military service for health reasons and dismissed from the army.


Roth continues to earn his living with odd jobs and decorations.
He produces “exhibition prints.” The first issue of spirale is published. Roth becomes acquainted with Daniel Spoerri, Claus Bremer, and Peter Althaus.


Roth creates his first baked sculpture, a spiral made of bread dough, for a competition of the Graphic Artists’ Association. For his decoration of the shop window of a bakery in the old part of Bern he is awarded 4th prize. First experiments with op art, complementary contrasts, reflected and deflected light. Roth organizes the open air sculpture exhibition Plastik im Freien in Biel. For Claus Bremer’s son he designs the Kinderbuch (Children’s Book) with perforated pages and geometrical structures (published in 1957). First film: licht und schatten auf der treppe am bubenbergrain (light and shadow on the steps at bubenbergrain). Together with Rolf Iseli, Peter Meier, and Walter Vögeli Roth takes over Gallery 33 in Bern. The gallery features a permanent exhibition of the group. Roth meets the Copenhagen textile manufacturer Percy von Halling-Koch who shows great interest in the artist’s constructivist works and asks him to conceive designs for fabrics and curtains.
Roth receives the Kiefer-Hablitzel Foundation’s award for painting in Bern.


Produces “graphic works for everyday use.” Percy von Halling-Koch invites Roth to Copenhagen, where he is employed at the firm Unika-Vaev to design textiles.


Roth continues designing textiles. He writes ideograms(poems influenced by concrete poetry) that are published in 1959.
Experiments with films in Super 8 format: The film Aus dem Rückfenster der Straßenbahn (Out of the Rear Window of a Tram) shows a view from a tram onto the tracks filmed with a camera rotating around the horizontal. Another film bears the title Im Fussballstadion mit an einer Schnur um den Kopf geschwungener Kamera (In a Football Stadium Swinging the Camera With a Piece of String Around the Head). In his third film project the artist overpaints the film material in black and additionally perforates it with punch pliers. When playing back the film, particles of colour are constantly released, a process that creates the effect of lightning flashes, which is intensified through the perforation. Roth subsequently throws the films away. He becomes acquainted with Gerhard Rühm. Roth is awarded the gold medal for his textile designs at a fair in San Francisco.


February: Roth moves to Rekjavík to take up residence with Sigri∂ur Björnsdóttir, an Icelandic student he had met while working for Unika-Vaev; they get married. Roth’s search for employment is unsuccessful. The Icelandic Graphic Artists’ Association rejects his admission. The financial situation is difficult; Roth’s wife supports the family with drawing lessons. Roth begins to design jewellery, which a local goldsmith displays in his shop window. He produces coloured drawings with pen and compasses and silk-screen prints. Together with Einar Bragi he founds the publishing company forlag ed. Books by both authors are published. Roth’s son Karl is born.


Roth works temporarily at the architect’s office of Gudmund Kirstinsson. He creates the Schlitzbücher (books with slots), published in 1959. Contributions for material 1 (published in 1959) and neue forum. December: At the invitation of the architect Newcomb Montgomery Roth travels to Philadelphia to present himself as a teacher at the School of Arts. The plan, however, does not succeed.


New York
At Yale University Roth holds a four-day lectureship as Visiting Critic and meets Josef Albers. Roth finds work as a graphic designer at the Geigy Corporation in New York. He produces the op art books bok 2 und bok 4 (published in 1960-61). He meets Norman Ives. May: Roth returns to Reykjavík. He creates kinetic pictures (puzzles), geometric rubber-stamp pictures and kinetic sculptures. He publishes some of his own pictorial works and a book by Sigri∂ur Björnsdóttir.

1960 to 1964 Iceland


Roth works in Ragnar Kjartansson’s ceramics workshop. He creates books with unique prints (“using one printing forme only”), photograms, and halftone pictures. Contributions for the periodicals Konkrete Poesie and nota.
July: In his first solo exhibition at Arthur Köpcke’s gallery in Copenhagen Roth presents his artist’s books.
August: Basle. Roth works at the advertising agency of Karl Gerstner and Markus Kutter. Publishes a book by Paul Talman. Roth becomes acquainted with Emmett Williams and Jean Tinguely.
November: Paris. Roth participates at the Festival d’Art d’Avant-garde (“kinetic pictures and film projections on moving mirrors”). He meets Robert Filliou.
December: Roth receives the William and Norma Copley Foundation Award. The jury consists of: William Copley, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Herbert Read, and Richard Hamilton.


Roth founds the furniture house Kùlan in Reykjavík together with Magnús Pálsson and Manfred Vilhjalmsson, producing “architectural models (with magnus pálsson).” He works on a book for the Copley Foundation via correspondence with Richard Hamilton and creates collages from texts. Due to the influence of the Nouveaux Realistes, particularly of Tinguely, Roth increasingly distances himself from constructivism. He designs the manuscript with holes. March: Amsterdam. For the exhibition Bewogen, Beweging he creates a poster with holes. He produces books from wastepaper and newspaper cuttings. For his Literaturwurst (Literature Sausage) Roth grinds up novels and processes them together with spices and fat, filling the mixture into sausage cases. He takes his leave from concrete poetry with the stupidograms (“the stupid picture”), filling Addi Köpcke’s gallery with them in 1963; ”textfilm (a letter).” Contributes to the fluxus publication Kalenderrolle 61. An article on Roth’s artist’s books by Richard Hamilton is published in Typographica 3. Publishes You don’t say by Al Copley. Birth of Roth’s second son Björn.


Roth begins working on the book Mundunculum (published in 1967). He conceives a picture alphabet consisting of 23 rubber stamps and uses this as basic material for numerous picture texts, drawings, assemblages, etc, of which many are published in Mundunculum. Develops the “conjugations.” Roth creates further kinetic objects (Rotation and Sound Pictures). He presents his object Windharfe (Wind Harp), orientated to Tinguely and made from scrap metal, at an exhibition in Reykjavík. Contributions for Kalenderrolle 62, Daily Bul.


The printer and publisher Hansjörg Mayer visits Roth in Reykjavík and wins him as an author.
Roth creates his first mould picture: a portrait of the Swiss collector and art dealer Carl Laszlo. First contacts with the dentist and collector Hanns Sohm with whom a long-term co-operation and an extensive correspondence ensues. Illustrations in the Icelandic daily newspaper Morgunbladid. Idea: “the negative image (flake-off pictures, mould-pictures, kitsch-pictures).” Contributions for the fluxus publications Kalenderrolle 63, V TREE, and An Anthology. Contribution for edition originar 1 (published in 1965). Creates cover and illustrations for 4 Leikbaettir by Oddur Björnsson. Birth of Roth’s daughter Vera.

1964 to 1966 USA


“Stencil box for do-it-yourself pictures (with paint shoe-polish nail-varnish etc).” August: Roth stays with Arnold Saks in New York. September: Philadelphia. Roth’s first solo exhibition in the United States, snow, is presented at the Museum College of Art. Creates the flatbed print “the indistinct image (‘faints’).” In New York Roth makes the acquaintance of Alison Knowles, Dick Higgins, Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, George Brecht, Al Hansen, Bob Watts, and Joe Jones. He does not, however, participate in their performance activities and happenings. November: New Haven. Roth receives his first teaching position at the Department of Architecture at Yale University, which he though soon has to give up due to differences of opinion with the professors teaching there. He produces his first etchings with chocolate and manipulated silk-screen prints. Separation from Sigri∂ur Björnsdottir.


For a year Roth teaches the graphic arts class at Rhode Island School of Design following the principle “non-teaching as teaching.” His students are free to attend or to stay away from his classes. As a result he partially teaches classes with only two or three students. Roth writes the poems for his first Scheisse (Shit) volume, published in 1966. In the following years he produces a series of twelve further volumes. He develops a sound alphabet to intonate texts. Roth also creates works from organic materials, which he calls “decomposition pictures and objects (symbol-figures).” In his graphic prints (“pressings and squashings”) he now also employs food, creating, for instance, etchings with “chocolates bananas biscuits etc.” Contributions for Kalender 65, Revue Integration, and Spatial Poem No. 1 by Mieko (Chieko) Shiomi. Translation of the French part of the publication Anekdoten zu einer Topographie des Zufalls by Daniel Spoerri. Works on Poetrie 1 (published in 1966). Roth meets André Thomkins. Collaboration with Rudolph Rieser. Roth publishes a further artist’s book, the so-called Copley Book, in co-operation with Richard Hamilton.


“Alteration and correction of texts by others;” “name of a print as a print;” “numbering stamp with 10 images;” “diaries and address books as lists of ideas;” “negative pin-ups;” “illustrated books as pieces of music;” “fading pictures (and their opposites).” Roth meets Oswald Wiener. June: Roth visits Hanns Sohm in Markgröningen. In Sohm’s practice he undergoes dental treatment, which he pays for with art works. Roth works on die blaue flut (the blue tide). Contributions for et 2, Joglars, frau und fräulein, Gorgona 9, Spatial Poem No. 2 by Mieko (Chieko) Shiomi, Blockprint, Le petit Colosse de ∑YMH.
In the summer Roth’s studio in Providence is cleared due to rent arrears. Excepting an assemblage on cardboard, all of his works are destroyed. Roth works on 246 little clouds (published in 1968)

1966 to 1971 Germany


Roth works on Poetrie 2.
Die blaue flut 2 (a LOOK into the blue tide part 2);
“2 alphabets for computer;” “colouring book for children;” “colouring sheet for adults.” (probably refers to the work Monokromopopoptopolisches Nummer-Malwerk) . Roth works on the double book Noch mehr Scheisse. Eine Nachlese, footnotes to sweethearts… (with Emmett Williams). Roth takes up residence with Dorothy Iannone. September: Basle. Roth creates his first “Heaps” from layers of food covered with milk or yoghurt. A series is commissioned from Roth by the Basle advertising agency GGK as Christmas gifts: 120 Mould Heaps. He produces “hand-painted books” and “books with filled pages.” (Refers to Poetrie 2 and Poeterei 3/4, published in 1968). Contribution for dé-collage No. 6. Roth’s art increasingly becomes known on an international scale. To produce his graphic prints he establishes Schepperts Studio, a small printing workshop in Braunschweig-Oelper, together with Karl Schulz.


Roth teaches at Watfort School of Art as a replacement for Hansjörg Mayer. There he produces his “recipe for a book without a theme,” printed by his students under the title little tentative recipe in 1969, and “melancholische nippes” (melancholy trinkets), for which Roth casts toys into chocolate. He translates 14 Chansons by Robert Filliou. Publishes “the unpleasant, embarrassing and weak diary” and undertakes the “printing of the review (10 copies).” (Probably refers to Poemetrie).
May: Düsseldorf. Roth teaches at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf (until 1971). He produces “self-portraits made out of edibles as old man corpse dog etc … maggot and fly colonies soft sculptures (cheese meat).” Since the works emit a strong odour of decay, the academy administration gives the order to clear the studio, in the course of which all of the works are destroyed. Roth becomes co-partner of the edition hansjörg mayer. Begins to publish the Gesammelte Werke/Collected Works. Collaboration with the printer Helmut Kaminski.
July: Reykjavík. Roth translates the English part of Daniel Spoerri’s Topography, adding his own comments. Produces contributions for the periodical ICA Bulletin and the exhibition Zeitkunst im Haushalt in Wuppertal (Vice Versand).


Roth receives the Art Award of the Iserlohn City Council. He creates his first spice pictures and objects. May: 37 suitcases filled with cheese, “hidden rot,” are presented at the exhibition Staple Cheese (A Race) at the gallery of Eugenia Butler in Los Angeles.
The artist becomes co-partner of the edition hansjörg mayer, Stuttgart, London, Reykjavík. Until the end of the 1970s they will jointly publish nearly all of Roth’s books.
Roth contributes to Mauricio Kagel’s film Ludwig van and creates the objects Die Badewanne des Ludwig van (The Bathtub of Ludwig van) and the Franz Léhar Sofa. Roth is a participant of documenta 4 in Kassel.
July: Reykjavík. Works on his serial novel (“free version of the story 2 tvövaldir & 4 einfaldir by Vigfús Björnsson”). The first parts are published in 1969 and 1971. Roth withdraws his contribution for the exhibition fruend-friends-freunde und freunde at Kunsthalle Bern before the opening due to differences of opinion with exhibition-organizer Harald Szeemann. Contributions for Daily-Bul 12, Pop Architektur Concept Art, Interfunktionen 3, and collaboration with the Petersburg Press.


“City sights” (silk-screen prints); Roth’s work phase with “banal-romantic monumentalism (large containers with wasting and rotting stuff)” commences. He creates spice objects and works such as Anis-Uhr (Aniseed Hourglass) or Gewürztruhe (Spice Chest). For the film Ludwig van he writes “franz lehar’s sofa text.” Begins collaboration with Stefan Wewerka (Cologne, Stuttgart, Braunschweig, Berlin, Munich, Reykjavík): Roth and Wewerka transform or carry on each other’s works. Production of the “cash register texts” as a contribution for Y 2. “Urban mud (transplantation of a text by richard hamilton)”: Roth translates Hamilton’s essay Urbane Image from 1963. Collaboration with Karl Egon Schulz.


Reykjavík, London, Düsseldorf, Braunschweig, Berlin, Lucerne;
Poems for Noch mehr Scheisse. Eine Nachlese… ”Work in progress”: Twice a week Roth places a sentence in the newspaper Luzerner Stadtanzeiger as an advert. Furthermore, once a week he produces a lithograph from the same stone for the Petersburg Press. The first eleven variations of the graphic works are published under the title Eine Muse (A Muse). The essays Franz Eggenschwiler and 2 Probleme unserer Zeit (2 Problems of Our Time) are published. Roth prepares a travelling exhibition of his books and graphic works together with Hansjörg Mayer and Hanns Sohm. First collaborations (graphic works) with Richard Hamilton.

1972 to 80 Germany, Iceland, Austria


Berlin, Braunschweig, Düsseldorf, London, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, Vienna, Zurich
The travelling exhibition Books and Graphics, Part 1, begins. Translates texts into pictures (in Scheisse, Collected Works, Vol. 13). “The interrupted swing into the depth of the three-dimensional, work on photos from the streets of Berlin.” (cf. exh. cat. Welt aus Sprache, Akademie der Künste, Berlin). First Berlin Poetry Workshop with Achleitner, Brus, Rühm, Wiener. Roth initiates joint stage appearances with the Viennese artists. The first “exhibition of order forms (for graphics)” is presented at Kurt Kalb’s gallery at Grünangergasse in Vienna. On so-called order forms interested visitors can select from 31 graphic works and an object, which Roth then has manufactured on demand. The second exhibition of this kind, Kuchenangebote, offering an assortment of cakes, takes place at Spoerri’s Eat Art Gallery in Düsseldorf. Purchasers can subsequently have the objects selected produced at a bakery of their choice. Roth’s works of art are now widely known. Apart from his domicile in Düsseldorf, he rents studio flats inVienna and Stuttgart. After producing the Piccadilly portfolio together with Peter Haas, Roth collaborates with the printer Frank Kicherer in Stuttgart. The stencil print Am Meer , von hinten (At the Sea, from Behind) is commissioned as the annual gift for members by the Verein für junge Kunst, Baden-Baden.


Berlin, Düsseldorf, London, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, Zug
Roth begins to assemble his first Collection of Flat Waste, i.e., he collects all of the refuse, which is not thicker than circa one centimeter, accumulated in a day in clear plastic folders and places these into files. This first collection fills circa 380 files; the second collection, which he starts together with Herbert Hossmann in 1976, will increase to approximately 780 files.
Roth produces collotype prints, such as Big Tardt for Richard, in collaboration with the Stuttgart printer Eberhard Schreiber and the silkscreen-print Stefan’s Blues with Frank Kicherer. Temporary co-operation with the printer Thomas Rubbel.
Together with his friend, the Hamburg lawyer Philipp Buse, Roth establishes Dieter Roth Pictures with business headquarters in the Swiss town of Zug and Hotelkunst AG (Hotel Art Ltd.), “production of prints in any style ordered by the hotel managers.”
Selten gehörte Musik (Rarely Heard Music): First recordings with Gerhard Rühm and Oswald Wiener , including The November Symphony. From 1974 onward Roth releases the recordings of the seven concerts of this series on gramophone record.


Berlin, Braunschweig, Hamburg, Hellnar, Lucerne, Munich, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, Watford, Vienna, Zurich, Zug
The ‘Scheisse’ style appears in Roth’s paintings; creates “the first, almost perfect ‘Scheisse’ poem.”
Selten gehörte Musik, the first Munich concert with Brus, Nitsch, Rühm, and Wiener; “experiments in showing everything happening as EGO (diary without names).”
Roth writes a play consisting only of the word ‘murmur’.
The artist attempts “to change or counteract, by means of the title, the effect of pictures.” Uwe M. Schneede organizes the first representative retrospective of Dieter Roth’s work up to 1974 at the Hamburg Kunstverein.
Roth designs wine-bottle labels for Langenbacher & Wankmiller in Lucerne, among other companies.
Founding of Dieter Roth’s Familienverlag (Dieter Roth’s Family Press), which in 1978 is renamed Dieter Roth’s Verlag. Apart from his own books Roth publishes works by members of the family and friends. He creates “oil paintings in the traditional style.”
Selten gehörte Musik, the Berlin concert with Attersee, Brus, Nitsch, Rainer, Rühm, Steiger, and Wiener.
Collaboration with Arnulf Rainer (photos, drawings, paintings).
“Intensified Restaurant Table Mix.” The first Bastelnovelle (‘Home Made Stories’) is published.


Berlin, Braunschweig, Diessen, Hamburg, Hellnar, Karlsruhe, London, Lucerne, Mosfellssveit, Prinzendorf, Stuttgart, Vornbach, Watford, Vienna, Zurich, Zug
IncreasinglyVera and Björn Roth participate in the works of their father.
“Concert for Brus, 4 players on 5 pianos, at Prinzendorf with Nitsch, Rühm, Wiener.” “ ‘Scheisse’ music (piano).”
Roth establishes the Zeitschrift für Alles (Review for Everything), the title of which is programmatic: Contributions in the shape of texts, collages, drawings, etc, are printed without revisions of their form or content. Roth publishes issues 1-3 together with Hansjörg Mayer. In the following issues he is supported by Paul Gredinger from the advertising agency GGK in Basle. From the mid-1980s onward Barbara Wien takes over the editorial work. The periodical ceases publication in 1987 after its tenth edition, containing 1396 pages in two volumes. Roth produces his first video works and the Ratio Briefe (Ratio Letters) together with Arnulf Rainer.
Exhibition at Kurt Kalb’s gallery in Vienna: Dieter Rot presents ‘drawings made when tired and unstable drawings,’ ‘lovely drawings’ and ‘conversation drawings with speech bubbles’.
Selten gehörte Musik, concert at the Art Academy Karlsruhe with Brus, Nitsch, Wiener, and the Romenthal Quartet with Brus, Nitsch, Wiener. “Intensified ‘Scheisse’ and ‘Kacke’ (crap) book production with Rainer Pretzell, Berlin, and Dr. Cantz, Stuttgart.”
Collaboration with Jan Voss on the portfolio Mickermappe.
Exhibition of the first co-operative work with Ingrid Wiener: the Gobelin Bertorelli B in Hamburg. In collaboration with Ingrid Wiener further carpets are produced in the 1980s and 1990s.


Akureyri, Barcelona, Braunschweig, Cadaqués, Diessen, Hamburg, Hellnar, London, Mosfellssveit, Stuttgart, Vornbach, Watford, Vienna, Zug.
The exhibition Collaborations realized together with Richard Hamilton opens at Galeria Cadaqués. Each picture is respectively accompanied by a drawn or painted certificate as well as a small picture of sausages or similar subject matter, which, hung beneath the large-format works, is intended for the dogs.
Together with Richard Hamilton and the dog Chispas Luis the record Canciones de Cadaqués is produced.
With Franz Eggenschwiler and Alfonso Hüppi Roth jointly exhibits Telephone Drawings. “Discussions as songs with Oswald Wiener”: Dead Races.
“Intensified self-portraying activities;” “drawings to overcome hangovers.”
Roth starts his second Collection of Flat Waste.
“Three stories and a play, made from the titles of the ‘Collaborations’”: In a Deserted Landscape, A little Hotel by the Sea, In a little Hotel by the Deserted Sea – a Landscape and Die grosse Bockwurst (cf. Collaborations of Ch. Rotham, 1977)


Barcelona, Basle, Cadaqués, Chicago, Hamburg, Hellnar, London, Madrid, Mosfellssveit, Prinzendorf, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, Vienna, Zug.
Roth produces his first ‘Speedy Drawings’ during an exhibition at Felix Handschin Gallery in Basle. In this case Roth draws with both hands simultaneously, in the course of which symmetrical mirror images are created.
The Quadruple Concert takes place, at the invitation of Friedhelm Döhl, at the Academy of Music in Basle. In this solo performance Roth employs various instruments such as the horn, grand piano, and organ. Intermittently he talks to the producer and drinks. Subsequently he plays back the recordings made during the presentation, while performing another solo, which again is recorded.
Roth begins to construct the Telex Music Alphabeth (from 1965) with Hansruedi Voser.
Together with Björn and Karl Roth recordings are made in a dog compound at Monte Tibidabo in Barcelona. The 24 cassette tapes covering in total 36 hours of barking are released in co-operation with Galeria Cadaqués as the cassette edition Tibidabo-24 Stunden Hundegebell (Tibidabo-24 Hours of Dogs’ Barking). A presentation of recordings of the noises at the gallery takes place in Madrid.
The R adio Sonata, where Roth appears on the piano, is broadcast live at the radio station Südwestfunk in Stuttgart (“45 minutes piano improvisation in growing drunkenness”).
In co-operation with Björn and Vera Roth begins recording Lorelei, the Long-Distance Sonata. For this work 40 hours of piano music are played back together with simultaneous recordings from various radio stations on a specially prepared cassette recorder.
Roth commences work on a wall painting at the residence of Ira Wool in Chicago “in the neo-Buddhistic style.”
At Carl Solway Gallery in New York Roth and Hamilton present their Interfaces for the first time, self-portraits executed by the artists in various techniques. Reading of the Collaboration texts at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag together with Richard Hamilton and reading of the Hamilton-Roth Play in London (25 persons) for Audio Arts.
Simultaneous drawing (and rubbing away the drawings) on a blackboard, with Björn Roth.
Begins to work on ”the Giant Multiple Family Portrait of the Klein family in Stuttgart.”
Roth participates with drawings at documenta 7 in Kassel.


Basle, Chicago, Hamburg, London, Mosfellssveit, Munich, New York, Prinzendorf, Reykjavík, St Gallen, Stuttgart, Ulm, Vienna, Zug
“Continuation of the gallery noise-dogs’ barking recordings (with 1000 photos of dogs and 2000 selfdogdrawings) at Felix Handschin’s Gallery.”
The record Roth & Rainer Misch- u. Trennkunst: Autonom-dialogische Thematik (Roth & Rainer Mixed and Divided Art: Autonomous Conversational Subject Matter) is produced during a painting session with Arnulf Rainer.
Selten gehörte Musik, the 2. Munich Concert with Attersee, Cibulka, Hossmann, Mayer, Nitsch, Renner, Björn Roth, Rühm, Schwarz, Thomkins, and Wiener.
“Publications in Xerox technique” (150 Speedy Drawings).
Collaboration with Edition Lebeer-Hossmann.
“Pictures with sound and films;” “bar-pictures (for bottles ).” In Stuttgart Roth begins to work on the installation BAR 0. “Execution of sculptures from poor, unclear drawings (with Vera and Björn Roth);” ‘Superspeedy Drawings;’ Roth continues working on the Chicago Wall Painting together with Björn Roth (“installation of loudspeakers for the voices of the painted beings”).
“Description of an empty picture through a loudspeaker in the centre of the picture;” “colourful pictures with music at Felix Handschin’s Gallery in Basle;”; “war with the museum at Ulm.”


Bielefeld, Braunschweig, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Copenhagen, London, Mosfellssveit, Munich, Prinzendorf, Reykjavík, Vienna, Zurich, Stuttgart
The attempt “to show that apes do not want to paint” is a performance conducted during the Biennale of Graphic Arts in Vienna together with Arnulf Rainer, in which the artists carry out a painting session with two monkeys. The noises and conversations during the painting performance are released as a video tape.
“Stepping into a Fat Napkin by Beuys in Vienna.”
Selten gehörte Musik, the Hamburg Keyboard Concert with Attersee, Hamilton, Nitsch, Rühm, Thomkins, Wiener.
“The ‘Hamburg Ballet’, dancing to a film by Peter Schönherr with music by Beatrice Cordua” (film published by Hansjörg Mayer).
“Begin of the ‘Telequartet’ (the players play one instrument each, far away from each other) consisting of cassette recordings (with Vera, Björn and Karl Roth).” Each participant records his or her playing: (Vera (violin), Karl (alto), Björn (cello), and Dieter Roth (piano) on tape over a period of twelve hours.
Roth teaches at the Art Academy in Munich (“alcoholic miniatures”) and, on invitation of Magnús Pálsson, at the Art School of Reykjavík. Already after ten days, however, he has to give up his teaching post .
Preparation of the second travelling exhibition of “books and graphics and other stuff” from the years 1971-79 with Hansjörg Mayer, presented from September 1 to October 21, 1979 at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. The object assemblage Große Tischruine (Large Table Ruin) that Roth begins to work on in his Stuttgart studio from circa 1974 onward is installed at the exhibition and extended in the process from three to six metres in length. Subsequently the Große Tischruine travels on to Amsterdam and Zurich and from there to Berlin to Gallery Onnasch. Each time the work is installed, it is further extended; after being presented in Vienna at Kurt Kalb’s gallery it is purchased in 1986 by Oskar Schmid. Now greatly enlarged, it is subsequently installed at Palais Kinsky and in 1990, modified and again extended, at Palais Harrach. In 1995 it is exhibited at the Wiener Secession and in 1997 in Marseille, to finally be presented – now stretching over a length of twelve metres – in 1999/2000 at the Centenary Exhibition in Berlin. Roth produces additional series of ‘Speedy Drawings’, the 2-Handed Speedy Drawings, which are published in the books Trophies (1979), Bats (1981), and Dogs (1981).
At the end of the 1970s Björn and Dieter Roth begin producing flower paintings, partially in the manner of still lifes, using textiles printed with flowers as a ground for their painting.

1980 to 1989 Germany, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland


Reykjavík, Mosfellssveit, Lucerne, Basle, Stuttgart
In the following two decades Roth pre-eminently travels back and forth between Iceland and Switzerland. He increasingly collaborates artistically with his son Björn. Most of the larger works are joint projects.
Roth moves into a studio at Hegenheimer Strasse in Basle. He develops the concept of the Table Mats. For these works he fixes the material that accumulates on his worktable, such as notes, photos, or rubbish on desk pads made of grey cardboard. In addition these ‘Mats’ are painted or supplemented with collages by Roth and partially also by his grandchildren and their friends.
The series Stuttgarter Bilderbogen (The Stuttgart Illustrated Broadsheets) is exhibited at Wendelin Niedlich’s gallery.


Mosfellsveit, Paris, Mols, Venice, Stuttgart, Basle
Spring: Roth temporarily gives up his flat in Stuttgart and moves to Mols.
Roth receives the Rembrandt Award of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Foundation at the Basle Art Museum. Instead of the expected words of thanks Roth waves to the audience and calls out “goodbye!” several times.
At the Biennale di Venezia Roth represents Switzerland with his film work Ein Tagebuch (A Diary), an installation of 40 film projectors for Super 8 films. The films, which are projected simultaneously, present autobiographical scenes from the first third of the year 1982: Roth’s “daily aliveness.” As an accompanying catalogue his latest diary is published. His book A Diary – Ein Tagebuch marks the beginning of a new, documentary work phase.
Continuous collages with Vera Roth at Gallery Niedlich.
His friendship with Hanns Sohm breaks up.


Iceland, Berlin, Mols, Basle, Stuttgart
The first retrospective of his works created between 1965 and 1983, Ladenhüter aus d. Jahren 1965-1983 (Non-Sellers from the Years 1965-1983), takes place at Gallery Onnasch. Among other works Roth presents his Biennale contribution Ein Tagebuch.
Beginning in June, one of the largest exhibitions of Roth’s newer objects and sculptures is shown at the Swiss Holderbank cement works.
November: Roth gives up his residence in Stuttgart for good.


Mosvellsveit, Basle, Mols, Vienna, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Berlin
Art Award of the bank NORD/LB, Hanover.
Ein Tagebuch is presented in the context of a solo exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and subsequently at the exhibition von hier aus, organized by Kasper König in Düsseldorf.
The Wand-Allerwelt-Bild (All-Purpose Wall Painting), created in collaboration with Björn Roth, André Thomkins, Ómar Stefánsson, and Dominik Steiger, is presented at the station buffet of the railway station SSB in Basle. A single issue of Kopiks, Lallix …, originally conceived as a periodical, is published in Mosfellssveit.


Iceland, Basle
Roth’s appearance on TV in January in the Swiss talk show Ziischtigs-Club dealing with the topic “Eat or Diet: a Conflict after the Holidays” triggers indignant reactions among the viewers.
Roth is awarded the Maastricht Charles Nypels Prize for his books.


Iceland, Basle, Frankfurt
For his exhibition Publiziertes und Unpubliziertes (Published and Unpublished Works) at the Portikus in Frankfurt Roth together with Barbara Wien assembles 3 Temporary Lists, a comprehensive bibliography of the works printed by Roth up to this point including the accompanying secondary literature.


Iceland, Basle, Stuttgart
The exhibition Zeichnungen (Drawings) takes place at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.


Iceland, Basle, Hamburg
Hamburg, Roth receives the Lichtwark Award.

Roth is tormented by states of panic and depression. He himself describes keeping diaries as a form of therapy.

1990 to 1998 Germany, Iceland, Switzerland


Iceland, Basle, Hamburg
Roth is awarded the Genevan Prix Caran d’Ache Beaux Arts, a highly remunerative prize for art in Switzerland.
At the beginning of the 1990s he establishes the Dieter Roth Foundation together with his Hamburg patron Philipp R. Buse. In Buse’s residence, in which the artist maintains a studio, apart from the largest Roth collection to date, extensive archives of his works are assembled, also containing material of his friends and former collaborators. With the Schimmelmuseum (‘Mould’ Museum) housed in an old remise in the vicinity Roth stages an installation of transitoriness extending over two stories, where in a highly concentrated form he once more demonstrates his concepts from the late 1960s.


Reykjavík, Mosfellsbaer, Paris, Basle, Holderbank, Sey∂isfjör∂ur, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna
Roth remains in Iceland most of the time. He continues working on the Schimmelmuseum in Hamburg together with his son Björn.
The Gartenskulptur (Garden Sculpture), next to some other works, is presented to the public for the first time at Gallery Claudine Papillon in Paris.
The second extensive exhibition at the Holderbank works in Switzerland. Collaborations with Ingrid Wiener and Richard Hamilton are also presented at this show.
Beginning of the collaboration with the book retailer Bokie Woekie in Amsterdam, which in the following years organizes the sales of his graphic prints and, above all, carries out the production of his Copy Books.


Iceland, Basle, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna
Roth is awarded the Große Kunstpreis Berlin at the Akademie der Künste.
Roth gives up his flat in the Tuchlauben in Vienna.


Reykjavík, Basle, Vienna, Zurich, Stuttgart
Exhibition at the Wiener Secession together with Björn Roth. The exhibition is repeated in a similar form in Marseille in summer, 1997. It features one large installation that is composed of various individual works. Roth’s worktables that are also incorporated into the installation are still used by the artist during the exhibitions; he carries on his production there as if he were working in his studio. In the centre of both exhibitions one finds the Gartenskulptur, which Roth installed for the first time together with Rudolf Rieser in 1970 in Rieser’s garden in Cologne. Since then the sculpture has been repeatedly assembled at different sites and transformed in the process, i.e., some parts have been removed, while other parts have been added. In 1975, for example, Roth assembles the sculpture at the residence of Philipp Buse in Hamburg, enlarging it by approximately one third of its former size. After yet another move to Franz Eggenschwiler in Eriswil, the sculpture is transferred to Basle by Björn and Dieter Roth. To this day it is extended by Björn Roth for each new exhibition and adapted to the given space.


Mosfellsbaer, Sey∂isfjör∂ur, Basle, Marseille
The films Soloszenen (Solo Scenes) that Roth had begun working on in Iceland, are continued in Basle. The states of mind and emotions experienced during his last period of abstinence serve him as material for the project. The films, which – in a similar manner as in Ein Tagebuch – present everyday scenes of the artist’s life, are shown in 1999 at the exhibition d’ARTPERTutto at the Biennale di Venezia.
Exhibition stretch & squeeze at the MAC, Galeries Contemporaines des Musées de Marseille.
Roth has health problems.


Iceland, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Zurich, Basle
January: Roth appoints Dirk Dobke as curator for the Dieter Roth Foundation in Hamburg. Through this arrangement the collection and the Schimmelmuseum are to be made accessible to the public. Together they begin to systematize the archives of the works, which have been accumulating over the years.
Roth receives the art multiple Award in 1998 in Düsseldorf.
His son accepts it in his name.

On June 5 Dieter Roth dies in his studio on Hegenheimer Strasse in Basle from heart failure.

Dieter Roth at Dieter Roth Foundation, Hamburg, April 1998, photo: Dr. Dirk Dobke
© Dirk Dobke, © Dieter Roth Estate, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth