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1960 to 1964 Iceland

dieter roth 1964


Roth works in Ragnar Kjartansson’s ceramics workshop. He creates books with unique prints (“using one printing forme only”), photograms, and halftone pictures. Contributions for the periodicals Konkrete Poesie and nota.
July: In his first solo exhibition at Arthur Köpcke’s gallery in Copenhagen Roth presents his artist’s books.
August: Basle. Roth works at the advertising agency of Karl Gerstner and Markus Kutter. Publishes a book by Paul Talman. Roth becomes acquainted with Emmett Williams and Jean Tinguely.
November: Paris. Roth participates at the Festival d’Art d’Avant-garde (“kinetic pictures and film projections on moving mirrors”). He meets Robert Filliou.
December: Roth receives the William and Norma Copley Foundation Award. The jury consists of: William Copley, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Herbert Read, and Richard Hamilton.


Roth founds the furniture house Kùlan in Reykjavík together with Magnús Pálsson and Manfred Vilhjalmsson, producing “architectural models (with magnus pálsson).” He works on a book for the Copley Foundation via correspondence with Richard Hamilton and creates collages from texts. Due to the influence of the Nouveaux Realistes, particularly of Tinguely, Roth increasingly distances himself from constructivism. He designs the manuscript with holes. March: Amsterdam. For the exhibition Bewogen, Beweging he creates a poster with holes. He produces books from wastepaper and newspaper cuttings. For his Literaturwurst (Literature Sausage) Roth grinds up novels and processes them together with spices and fat, filling the mixture into sausage cases. He takes his leave from concrete poetry with the stupidograms (“the stupid picture”), filling Addi Köpcke’s gallery with them in 1963; ”textfilm (a letter).” Contributes to the fluxus publication Kalenderrolle 61. An article on Roth’s artist’s books by Richard Hamilton is published in Typographica 3. Publishes You don’t say by Al Copley. Birth of Roth’s second son Björn.


Roth begins working on the book Mundunculum (published in 1967). He conceives a picture alphabet consisting of 23 rubber stamps and uses this as basic material for numerous picture texts, drawings, assemblages, etc, of which many are published in Mundunculum. Develops the “conjugations.” Roth creates further kinetic objects (Rotation and Sound Pictures). He presents his object Windharfe (Wind Harp), orientated to Tinguely and made from scrap metal, at an exhibition in Reykjavík. Contributions for Kalenderrolle 62, Daily Bul.


The printer and publisher Hansjörg Mayer visits Roth in Reykjavík and wins him as an author.
Roth creates his first mould picture: a portrait of the Swiss collector and art dealer Carl Laszlo. First contacts with the dentist and collector Hanns Sohm with whom a long-term co-operation and an extensive correspondence ensues. Illustrations in the Icelandic daily newspaper Morgunbladid. Idea: “the negative image (flake-off pictures, mould-pictures, kitsch-pictures).” Contributions for the fluxus publications Kalenderrolle 63, V TREE, and An Anthology. Contribution for edition originar 1 (published in 1965). Creates cover and illustrations for 4 Leikbaettir by Oddur Björnsson. Birth of Roth’s daughter Vera.

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