1930 to 1950 Germany, Switzerland
Born as Karl-Dietrich Roth on April 21,1930 in Hanover as one of three sons of a German mother and a Swiss father working as a merchant .
Attends primary school in Hanover-Döhren.
Attends secondary school in Hanover.
Roth is accommodated with foster parents in Zurich. At the hotel run by the family Fritz Wyss, where Roth will remain for three years, Jewish and communist artists and actors also reside during the war. In this environment Roth begins to write poetry and to create his first drawings, pastels, and watercolours.
Roth’s parents move to Switzerland and the whole family takes up residence in Herisau. Roth attends secondary school in St Gallen. He produces his first etching on tin sheet metal and his first oil paintings.
Roth drops out of school and starts an apprenticeship as a graphic designer with Friedrich Wüthrich in Bern (until 1951). There he becomes acquainted with all of the significant printing techniques. He creates linocuts and wood engravings. Roth meets Eggenschwiler and Paul Thalmann.
Roth makes his first collages with painted scrap metal. He suffers a nervous breakdown and attempts suicide.
- 1930 to 1950 Germany, Switzerland
youth in Hannover, moves to Switzerland, apprenticeship
- 1950 to 1959 Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland
geometric works, influenced by the “Zürcher Konkreten”, fabrics designer in Denmark, first experiments with film, concepts for books, moves to Iceland
- 1960 to 1964 Iceland
jewellery design, fine arts, architectural models, works on “Copley-book”, founds a furniture shop in Reykjavík
- 1964 to 1966 USA
works on “Snow”-book in Philadelphia, teaching position at University in Providence, Rhode Island/USA, first works using organic material, works on book “Mundunculum”
- 1966 to 1971 Germany
highly productive in works using food, two volumes of poetry: “Scheisse” Zyklus (Shit cycle) and “Tränenmeer” (Sea of Tears), more artist´s books, very productive as a printer, designs more jewellery
- 1972 to 80 Germany, Iceland, Austria
painting and drawing, the “beidhändige Schnellzeichnungen” (simultaneous speed drawings) among them, artist´s books, prints, founds “Dieter Roth´s Familienverlag” (D.R.´s family publishers), later assemblages from found material and rubbish
- 1980 to 1989 Germany, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland
Multimedia objects, installations, biographic works: concerts, performances, films, projections, books and records; represents Switzerland at the Venice Biennale 1982
- 1990 to 1998 Germany, Iceland, Switzerland
more biographical work, publishes his diaries, video installation “Solo Szenen” (Solo scenes), puts on first retrospective of his own work, initiates the “Dieter Roth Foundation” in Hamburg