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Dieter Roth Biography

German-born Icelandic artist Dieter Roth worked in a variety of media, but he was best known for his books, sculptures, and installations. He also worked in drawing and painting. Roth was also known as Dieter Rot and Diter Rot. A versatile artist, he followed the Concrete, Fluxus, Op, and Maximalism art movements. He didn’t, however, define himself by any one particular genre. He worked extensively in Iceland during his early career, which meant he was not influenced by the European Modernist movements. As such, his work has a unique aesthetic.

Dieter Roth is known for working with a variety of unusual materials, such as found objects, biodegradable material and food. He produced sculptures using chocolate, banana, cheese, and rabbit excrement. ‘Literaturwurst’ (Literature Sausage, 1961 to 1964), was an artist’s book produced by processing and binding published text in the form of a sausage. Roth fixed the cover of the book to the sausage wrapper. Another of his most well-known and unusual works was the ‘Staple Cheese (A Chase)’ exhibition, which was a series of suitcases filled with cheese fixed to gallery walls. As part of the exhibition, the cheese would rot over time. During the 1980s and 1990s, Roth focused on larger installations. He was most famous for his ‘Gartenskulptor’, which was composed of a diverse collection of art pieces mounted onto garden trellises.

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