Dieter Roth/Björn Roth"

Hauser & Wirth New York , Chelsea Tuesday March 19 2013 10:00 - 18:00
 (Jens Kirchner)
Jens Kirchner
Dieter Roth / Björn Roth, The Floor II. 1977–1998
 (Bjarni Grímsson)
Bjarni Grímsson
Dieter Roth, Selbstturm (Self Tower), 1994/2013
 (©Dieter Roth Estate)
©Dieter Roth Estate
Dieter Roth, Zuckerturm (Sugar Tower) 1994/2013
 (Bjarni Grímsson)
Bjarni Grímsson
Dieter Roth (with Björn Roth & Eggert Einarsson), Grosse Tischruine (Large Table Ruin), begun 1978
 (Bjarni Grímsson)
Bjarni Grímsson
Dieter Roth, Solo Scenes,1997–1998
 (Bjarni Grímsson)
Bjarni Grímsson
Installation view, “Dieter Roth/Björn Roth” at Hauser & Wirth New York
 (Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich)
Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
Dieter Roth, No Title (Bananas),1965/1966
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Ausicht/Ansicht, 1996
 (©Dieter Roth Estate)
©Dieter Roth Estate
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Kaleidoskop, Junior (unfinished),1986–1994
 (©Dieter Roth Estate)
©Dieter Roth Estate
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Kaleidoskop, Junior (unfinished), detail, 1986–1994
 (Mike Bruce)
Mike Bruce
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Tischtuch mit Palmenbildern, 1986–1994
 (©Dieter Roth Estate)
©Dieter Roth Estate
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Tischtuch mit Geschirrbildern, 1987–1994
 (©Dieter Roth Foundation)
©Dieter Roth Foundation
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Landscape with Tower, 1976–1994
 (©Dieter Roth Foundation)
©Dieter Roth Foundation
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Untitled, 1980–1993
 (©Dieter Roth Foundation)
©Dieter Roth Foundation
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Incompletable Painting, 1980–1982
 (©Dieter Roth Foundation)
©Dieter Roth Foundation
Dieter Roth/Björn Roth, Dieter Roth / Björn Roth, 3 Persons, Several Times, 1976–1993

Hauser & Wirth inaugurates its new 25,000-square-foot Chelsea location with a retrospective of the German Conceptualist Dieter Roth (1930–1998). Reenvisioned, and in some cases re-created, by son Björn, his work encompasses sculpture, painting, poetry, filmmaking and music, with every medium used to blur the distinction between Roth’s art and his life.

The Floor I and The Floor II are literally the floors removed from two of the artist’s studios, arrayed vertically besides each other like the sides of a giant ark. Self Tower is a column made of chocolate heads, formed as indistinct lumps instead of recognizable self-portraits. Standing more than 16 feet tall, it is matched by Sugar Tower, which features the same items created from the titular confection. You can watch the busts being fabricated on-site in New York Kitchen, which bustles with assistants stirring pots of melted chocolate and sugar as they cast likenesses of the artist.

Equally flamboyant is Large Table Ruin (1978), a Rube Goldberg–like collision of worktables, cigarette butts, dirty paintbrushes, puddles of spilled pigment, movie projectors, reels of film and a bookcase stuffed with empty beer bottles. It’s a classic vision of the mad artist at work. But to watch this particular madman in action, spend some time with Solo Scenes, a wall of video monitors playing vignettes from the last year of the artist’s life.

Thrilled as I was to see Roth’s art, I had the nagging feeling that the show was essentially an exercise in male entitlement. How many woman artists, after all, get to display their kitchens in grand galleries or parlay a bad-girl attitude into a huge career? Something to consider while exploring this layered and fascinating exhibition.—Barbara Pollack


Venue name: Hauser & Wirth New York
Address: 548 W 22nd St
New York
Cross street: Between Tenth Ave and Eleventh Ave
Opening hours: Tue–Sat 10am–6pm
Transport: Subway: C, E to 23rd St
Event phone: 212-794-4970
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