Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth (April 1930 – June 1998)

Dieter Roth (also known as ‘Dieter Rot’ and ‘Diter Rot’) was a German-Swiss conceptual artist. He worked with a range of techniques with a focus upon printmaking (silkscreens and lithographs) and publishing. Roth is also known for his works made from ‘found materials’ including rotting foods and materials:

Karnickelköttelkarnickel (1972) (‘Rabbit Droppings Rabbit’)
Verschimmelte Unikate

After experiencing Paul Klee’s work for the first time – “a shock that [was to] grow into an obsession” – Roth moved away from commercial art in which he was completing an apprenticeship in.

In 1954, Roth met Daniel Spoerri, which was a friendship that Roth described as “one of the most wonderful things I ever experienced”. Spoerri’s publishing house, Editions MAT, that he later founded went on to print some of Roth’s early works. Roth contributed to Spoerri’s ‘An Anecdoted Topography of Chance’, a collaborative work of cumulative anecdotes by Spoerri, Robert Filliou and Emmett Williams, and published by Something Else Press.

However, despite his close personal and professional relationships with Fluxus artists, Roth was also critical of the movement:

“It was the club of the untalented who made a verbal virtue of their lack of talent so that nobody could say they had no talent. The modesty that they ascribed to themselves was actually a good insight in that sense. Because they had to be modest because they were so incapable.”

– Dieter Roth



Dieter Roth Museum, Hamburg:

Dieter Roth Academy website:

Dieter Roth Academy links: 


Biography, Artnet:

Biography, Artsy:

Biography (German):


Biography, Essl Museum (German):

Biography (German): http://www.dieter– 

Biography (German):


Biography, Hauser & Wirth:


Visual exhibits:!#filterName:all-paintings-chronologically,resultType:masonry

The international auction house for the purchase and sale of Dieter with visual exhibits:

Visual exhibits:

Visual exhibits, Tate Britain:

Self Portrait as a Lion; Hunting Ducks; Rabbit dung:

The Course of the World (‘Der Lauf der Welt’):

(Trauriges) Taschenzimmer (1969):

Self-portrait as a Lion (1969) & commentary (German):


Dieter Roth: A Look at an Enigmatic Artist:

Spiegel article on Roth:

Dieter Roth and the artist book (German):

‘Art That Rots’ (German):

‘Art Is What You Do’ (German):

‘Dieter Roth: From Graphic Artist to Art Provocateur’:

Video resources:

Opening night of Dieter Roth: Selves (Retrospective) at Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau / Switzerland, August 2011:

Introduction to Dieter Roth, MoMA:


‘Dieter Roth: Nice Shit. Amateur Masterpieces’ exhibition, Dortmund August 2016:

Roth’s collaboration with his son Björn Roth:

Exhibitions, films and literature and collections: 

Video on the exhibition ‘The Book’s Undoing: Dieter Roth’s Artist’s Books’:

Further resources:

‘Dieter Roth’ film, directed by Edith Jud, 118 min, 2003