Roth Bar

9 December 2022 – 9 September 2023

St. Moritz

Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz presents a fully-functional bar designed by Björn, Oddur and Einar Roth, son and grandsons of German-born Swiss artist Dieter Roth (1930 – 1998), alongside a rare self-portrait of the artist.

First conceived by Dieter Roth in the early 1980s, ‘the bar’ is a dynamic and changing installation and is a continuing element in the Roths’ cross-generational practice. This exhibition activates the gallery’s ground floor space as a hub for socializing, music, readings and talks.

Roth Bar (Zürich) Björn Roth, Oddur Roth, Einar Roth 2004 – 2015 Mixed media installation 470 x 430 x 1050 cm / 185 x 169 1/4 x 413 3/8 in

A driving force of Post-War European art, Dieter Roth produced a diverse oeuvre during his five-decadelong career that included drawing, painting, sculpture, film, immersive installations and bookmaking. Roth experimented with materials and language, exploring the interplay of different mediums, which underscores his distinct approach to artmaking. The bar, comprised of scavenged materials, embodies a central motif found throughout Dieter Roth’s work.

‘Roth Bar’ (2004 – 2015)

Both bar and studio were central concepts and locales for the work of Dieter Roth. Since its first iteration, the bar has gradually evolved, as for each exhibition site-specific materials have been incorporated into the installation. ‘Roth Bar’ (2004 – 2015) was first unveiled in the exhibition ‘Dieter Roth: Lest / Train’ at Reykjavik Art Museum in 2005 before continuing on to Hauser & Wirth Coppermill, London (2006), HangarBicocca, Milan (2013), to Hauser & Wirth Zurich and to Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel (2015). It was last shown in 2019 at Museum Tinguely in Basel.

The History of the Roth Bars

The story of ‘Roth Bar’ at Hauser & Wirth began when Dieter Roth insisted that a bar form part of his first show with the gallery in 1997. Along with his son Björn, Dieter Roth installed the functional ‘Bar 2’ (1983 – 1997) in Zurich and every beer bottle served became a part of the bar installation and visitors’ conversations were recorded and archived.

‘Roth Bar’ is presented in St. Moritz alongside the rare painting ‘Doppel-Selbstbildnis (Double Self-portrait)’ (1973), revealing an important dialogue between Dieter Roth’s work from the 1970s and his wider practice.

Doppel-Selbstbildnis (Double Self-portrait) Dieter Roth 1973 Oil on canvas 110.5 x 90 cm / 43 1/2 x 35 3/8 in Framed: 114.8 x 94.5 x 6 cm / 45 1/4 x 37 1/4 x 2 3/8 in

Self-portraiture was central to Roth’s practice, which he rigorously explored through art and journals. Combining Roth’s ceaseless experimentation with his abiding interest in self-portraiture, ‘Doppel-Selbstbildnis’ is an ode to the artist’s boundless imagination. In this work, Roth renders the pictorial devices that underscore figurative painting in an enigmatic manner, challenging the conventions of traditional self-portraiture.

Executed in an Old Master style, gradually building up thin layers of oil paint to achieve a rich tonal range, Roth’s profile is cut from a plane comprised of a myriad of luminous and subtly blended colors. In line with the title, another barely visible cut-out on the curled bend is included.

On view in St. Moritz

‘Roth Bar’ is now on view through 9 September 2023 at Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz.

About the Artist

Dieter Roth

One of the most influential artists of the post-World War II period, Dieter Roth was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1930, to a German mother and a Swiss father, and died in Basel, Switzerland in 1998. Dieter Roth was an artist of an immense diversity and breadth, producing books, graphics,...

Inquire about available works by Dieter Roth

On view now through 9 September 2023 at Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz.

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