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Dieter Roth. Presented by: Victoria Mcgillicuddy Annie Edwards Joe O’Donnell. Artist Profile: . Name: Dieter Roth (Also known as Dita Rot) Born: 21 st April 1930, Hannover Germany Died: 5 th June 1998, Switzerland (age 68) Areas of Work: Book Art Prints Sculpture

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Dieter Roth

Presented by:

Victoria Mcgillicuddy

Annie Edwards

Joe O’Donnell

artist profile
Artist Profile:

Name: Dieter Roth (Also known as Dita Rot)

Born: 21st April 1930, Hannover Germany

Died: 5th June 1998, Switzerland (age 68)

Areas of Work:

  • Book Art
  • Prints
  • Sculpture
  • Found Materials
  • Rotting Food
key points location
Key Points - Location


  • Sent from Nazi Germany to Switzerland to live with Foster Parents
  • Received Graphic Design training in Bern Switzerland
  • Took a particular interest in Avant-Garde designand poetry

Dieter Roth moved relatively frequently, living in places such as:

  • Reykjavik
  • London
  • Basel
  • Hamburg
  • Rhode Island

Roth’s movements heavily affected his works, demonstrated by the wide variety of his works

key point decomposition
Key Point – Decomposition
  • Dieter Roth frequently used materials that could decompose in order to show the passing of time with no attempt to preserve, conserve or intervene with the work
  • Interested in chance and works uncontrolled by Artists
  • The factors in which the Art is created, such as temperature, light, bacteria and insects would affect Artworks after the Artist declared the work complete – This was an aspect key to Dieter Roth.
  • Roth had a key interest in grease stains, mold formations, damage from insects, and blotches of rotting organic material.
  • Roth’s work got to the point where it relied upon natural aspects of his pieces, to the point where nature itself became the Artist
key point other facts
Key Point – Other facts
  • In 1949, Dieter Roth suffers a nervous breakdown and attempted to take his own life.
  • Dieter was known to have been suffering from heart problems during his life
  • In 1969, because of the decay involved in Dieter Roth’s work, his Düsseldorf Academy studio work was cleared out and destroyed.
  • In 1975 Dieter Roth founded the Zeitschrift fur Alles journal, which chose to publish anything that was submitted to it
  • - Online Auction, where Dieter Roth’s work is being sold today
  • Most famous for his book Art, in particular “Literaturwurst”
works of art

Works of Art

Dieter Roth


Self Portrait as a Drowning Man



Acrylic paint, watercolourand glue on cardboard


800 x 1003 mm


Tate, Purchased 1977

Roth’s many self-portraitsare often objects or representations that make no visual reference to his physical appearance


''When I was young I wanted to become a real artist,’’

''Then I started doing something I felt wasn't real art, and it was through this that I became a well-known artist.''

Dieter Roth




Dieter Roth


''Here lies the carcass of a man who didn't know who he was and where he was heading.''

Dieter Roth on his own death