Commercial artist, draughtsman, sculptor, collage artist, object artist, writer, film-maker, motion picture artist and composer
Dieter Roth was born in Hanover in 1930. During the Second World War he was housed with foster parents in Zurich for three years; in their hotel he came into contact with Jewish and communist artists and actors. Roth was introduced to drawing and painting in this way, and he also began writing poetry. In 1947 he trained as a commercial artist and learned various printing techniques. In 1949 he produced his first collages out of trash. From 1950 to 1959 Roth lived in Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland, working geometrically, designing fabrics, making first experiments with film, and writing ideas for books. In Iceland he turned to fine arts, designing architecture and jewellery on the side. While in the United States from 1964 to 1966 he made his first artworks using organic materials. Back in Germany, he focused especially on works made of edibles from 1966 to 1971, but also made prints. Roth later devoted himself to multimedia works, installations and biographical writings. In 1982 Roth represented Switzerland at the 40th Venice Biennale, and in 1992 he established his Schimmelmuseum (Mould Museum). Dieter Roth died in Basel in 1998.