Over the two months since Hauser & Wirth gallery opened a show of work by Dieter Roth and his son, Bjorn Roth, assistants have been casting molds of Roth’s head in chocolate and stacking them into a ceiling-height tower. Nature took its course last week, however, as the lower busts crumbled, leaving a piece that speaks of the inevitability of decade and collapse. (At Hauser & Wirth’s Chelsea location through April 6th. See my January 29th post for a picture of busts being made.)
Dieter Roth at Hauser & Wirth Gallery, installation view of The Floor I, 1973 – 1992.
Discover Chelsea’s newest gallery and more this Saturday (11am – 1pm) on Merrily’s first group gallery tour of the year! Iconic European artist Dieter Roth merged art and life to the point of exhibiting impressive chunks of his studio floor that bear the traces of decades of art making. Email merrily to reserve your spot: email@example.com. (If you’ve toured with Merrily before, take 25% off your ticket price!)
Bjorn Roth/Oddur Roth/Einar Roth, New York Kitchen, mixed media installation, 2013.
German-Swiss-Icelandic artist Dieter Roth (1930 – 1998) used natural materials like chocolate, cheese, bananas, sausages and rabbit dung to make sculptures and images that would blossom with new life as they aged. Here, assistants create chocolate casts of Roth’s famous chocolate or sugar self-portrait busts, as seen on the pallet. (At Chelsea’s Hauser & Wirth through April 13th).
Dieter Roth, Lauf der Welt (The Way the World Runs), 1970, chocolate, aluminum foil, folding carton board in plastic bag.
Nobody outdoes iconic German artist Dieter Roth for the aesthetic possibilities he derived from rotting food, from oil-extruding sausage to pressed bananas. It makes his work a shoe-in for ‘The Nature of Disappearance’ at both of Marianne Boesky’s galleries, a group show focusing on “…the intentionally initiated process of decay.” ‘Lauf der Welt’ (The Way the World Runs), 1970 (seen here in detail) is one of three Roth pieces included and features a smashed chocolate Santa and Easter Bunny. Though he does it by crushing the gaiety from children’s treats, Roth easily lays low the commercialism of the holidays by displaying a graphic version of their aftermath.