Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth
by Brenna Campbell, Scott Gerson, and Lynda Zycherman
edited by Sarah Suzuki
Dieter Roth’s wildly inventive artistic practice encompassed everything from painting and sculpture to film and video, but it is arguably through his editioned works–books, prints and multiples–that he made his most important and radical contributions. These experiments include literature sausages filled with ground-up books, newspapers or magazines in place of meat; the use of organic materials like pudding or fruit juice in lieu of printing inks; multiples of plastic toys mired in chocolate; and a dazzling array of variations on printed postcards. Taken together, these works offer an utterly radicalized view of mediums that are historically considered staid and traditional, while giving insight into one of the artistic titans of the twentieth century. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, and focusing on the prolific period between 1960 and 1972, this volume highlights examples of Roth’s most exciting and innovative books and graphics. An essay by curator Sarah Suzuki uses an extended investigation of “Snow” (1964–1969), a complex book-sculpture, as a touchstone from which to further investigate Roth’s use of language, iconography, technical innovations and relationships to other artists. A conservation essay offers two case studies that explore preservation issues and address larger concerns about the challenges of conserving contemporary art and organic materials.
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