MoMA presents Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth, an exhibition focused on Roth's incredibly innovative and prolific period of art-making from 1954 to 1972, from February 13 to June 24, 2013. Presenting a comprehensive selection of prints, books, and multiples from the first half of the artist's career, the exhibition offers a lens through which to examine not only Roth's radical redefinition of these mediums but also his essential contributions to art in the 20th century.
Drawing substantially from the extensive collections of both MoMA's Department of Prints and Illustrated Books and The Museum of Modern Art Library, the exhibition features nearly 160 works, and features several important new additions to the collection, including Roth's seminal P.O.TH.A.A.VFB (Portrait of the artist as a Vogelfutterbüste [birdseed bust]) (1968), a self-portrait bust of the artist as an old man, cast in chocolate mixed with birdseed. Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing is organized by Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.
The work of Dieter Roth (Swiss, born Germany. 1930-1998) encompasses everything from painting and sculpture to film and video, but it is arguably through his editioned work-prints, books, and multiples-that he made his most radical contributions. These experiments include the use of organic materials in lieu of traditional mediums, including printed "pressings" and "squashing" of foodstuffs, book-sausages filled with ground paper in place of meat, and multiples of plastic toys mired in melted chocolate, as well as a dazzling array of variations on printed postcards. Taken together, they reveal a thorough reassessment of these formats, constituting an experimental body of work that calls into question the standard definitions of these staid, established mediums.