Home » The Dieter Roth Academy

The Dieter Roth Academy

The Dieter Roth Academy consists of friends and co-workers of Dieter Roth (1930-1998). The Academy has its address at Skaftfell in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. The Academy is not a formal institute but it’s students can get into contact with any of it’s professors and thereby be accepted as students of the Academy.

Professors of the Dieter Roth Academy

Eggert Einarsson – Reykjavík
Kristján Guðmundsson – Reykjavík
Sigurður Guðmundsson – China
Gunnar Helgason – Reykjavík
Dorothy Iannone – Berlin
Bernd Koberling – Berlin
Pétur Kristjánsson – Seyðisfjörður
Rainer und Agnes Pretzell – Abaliget
Björn Roth – Basel
Andrea Tippel – Berlin
Rúna Thorkelsdóttir – Amsterdam
Henriëtte van Egten – Amsterdam
Jan Voss – Amsterdam
Tom Wasmuth – New Mexico

Dieter Roth (1930-1998)

Dieter Roth was born 1930 in Hanover, to German-Swiss parents.  He was in school in Zürich from 1943 onwards. 1947-1951 he did training at the Berner Kunstgewerbeschule, in graphics and lithography. During this period made his first contacts with other artists like Daniel Spoerri, Marcel Wyss and Franz Eggenschwiler.

Co-founder and -editor of the journal “Spirale” (1953-) which specializes in literature, theoretical texts and Druckgraphik. He worked as a designer and ad graphics Werbegestalter in Basel, Bern, Copenhagen, and New York. In 1957 Roth moves to Iceland.

His work in the 50s is characterized 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 book medium 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. The last decade in his life Dieter Roth spent long periods in Seyðisfjörður where he lived and worked. Dieter Roth died June 5th, 1998, from heart failure, in Basel.