by Elizabeth Upenieks

“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.” – Patti Smith

Dieter Roth, Self-portrait as Sprinter, 1980, offset, pencil, ink, marker, paper, sheet: 9 in x 13 in. University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Gift of Donald G. Lehn through the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation, UM 1980.46.6.1.

To be deemed punk requires defying conventional standards while actively creating new material not based on technical ability but rather a desire to test the limits of your own expression. Dieter Roth embraces all of those traits through his prolific oeuvre that cannot be defined by medium, movement, or place in time, beginning with concrete poetry and book design projects in the 1950s and continuing to experimental work with edible materials and numerous other media in the 1960s and later. Although Roth’s early work predates punk, his work from the 1980s contains subversive humor, self-awareness, and defiance towards the market-driven art world that relates his work explicitly to punk aesthetics. While he has no overtly political message to espouse, his work conveys a sense of anarchy that still has the power to provoke.

The simple history of punk begins with the London band, the Sex Pistols. In 1976 their presence was etched into history through a review in New Music Express thoroughly embracing their new sound.[1] It is from here that the proliferation of punk music, clothing, and thought entered into the mainstream. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, simplified the punk message when describing their hit “Anarchy in the U.K.” as “a statement of self-rule, of ultimate independence, of do-it-yourself.”[2] The do-it-yourself attitude aligns with Roth’s lack of technical skill and refusal to abide by artistic norms that force artists to categorize themselves as specialists in one particular medium. As the scholar Dick Hebdige discusses in his book Subculture: the Meaning of Style, punk “embodies a Refusal: it begins with a movement away from the consensus.”[3] Along with Roth’s abhorrence for the art market and its institutions, his art also moves away from standard artistic consensus or reception through its multi-media pieces and odd materials.

One of the main art movements that inspired punk and its aesthetics is Dada, formed in the midst of World War I in 1916. Considered the precursor of the punk movement, Dada art is discussed as one of the most “classic modes of ‘anarchic’ discourse” by Hebdige.[4] The work of the Berlin Dadaists threatened to ideologically undermine the German government just after the war. The Situationist International, formed in 1957, also predated and influenced the punks by aligning themselves more in opposition to popular culture and postwar political movements than with art history.[5] Their radical poster and pamphlet design emphasize the creation of a new society that embraces Marxist ideas with an anarchist edge. According to scholar Rick Poynor, both Dada and the Situationist International embraced a certain type of “messthetic,” which is equally visible in Roth’s work and specifically the three self-portraits to be examined here.[6] From the Dadaists’ cut up and pasted collages to the black and white Xeroxing of Situationist materials, Roth extends this visual messthetic through his offset lithographs and hand drawn additions that often look like a child’s creation.

While Roth’s work fulfills the typical ethos of punk, he does not create unconventional music but rather visual art through unconventional techniques and a refusal of expertise strongly associated with that subcultural tendency. Roth follows the trajectory of resistant artists before him, like the Dadaists, but also earlier German artists who embraced self-mockery, like Lovis Corinth. Roth’s work finds an important legacy in the lineage of German modern and contemporary art. His self-portraits perhaps best show his self-deprecating humor and embrace of his status outside the mainstream art market. Roth’s work is also not filtered through academic techniques or aesthetics; instead he foregrounds his own technical limitations. His self-references, refusal to adhere to one medium, and attack on the male modernist artistic persona come together in his seemingly slapdash works Self-portrait as Stupido, Self-portrait as Printer, and Self-portrait as Sprinter, all in the UMCA collection. Each of these self-portraits are original drawings, in some cases combined with prints, included in various volumes of collected works by Roth. Self-portrait as Stupido is one of 416 stupidograms, Roth’s name for his prints of gridded rows of commas that he has “drawn” over by circling various commas, presented in his Collected Works, Volume 9. Both Self-portrait as Printer and Self-portrait as Sprinter come from Collected Works, Volume 20 which contain all of the graphics Roth created up to 1979.

Roth was born in 1930 in Hanover, Germany, to a Swiss father and German mother, his childhood defined by the existential threat of Hitler’s rule in Germany. At age 13 he found asylum in his father’s native Switzerland, fleeing Germany and the onslaught of World War II. In Switzerland, he began his long and illustrious career as an artist of unconventional means, studying commercial design but also encountering the work of Paul Klee, a major early artistic influence. Roth immediately started to experiment with art and self-portraiture during his adolescent years. One of his first attempts to make a print and a self-portrait occurred when Roth, as Felicitas Thun describes, “first bashed in the bottom of a tea box and then scratched into it with a nail. But [he] didn’t have a press, so [he] smudged water colors onto it and placed it under a cupboard.”[7] Roth never stopped creating new representations of himself. One of his most well-known art works from 1968, P.O.TH.A.A.VFB, consists of a perpetually rotting bust of Roth created from chocolate and birdseed. This untraditional portrait was a commentary by Roth on the inevitable aging of the human body, as well as the permanence of art. From his first experiment with his self-image to the high point of his career with the infamous chocolate busts, and lasting until the end of his life, Roth continually intertwined his own unconventional life and image with the work he produced.

Unlike prominent conceptual artists of the 1960s who eschew the personal or the intimate in their work, for example Sol LeWitt, Roth’s art frequently incorporated his own life, or as he states: “my subject matter comes from my own reservoir of experience.”[8] He often depicted his memories and life in farcical and satirical ways. By using his own image to explore changing representations of his self, he connects his work to the 19th-century German artist Lovis Corinth and also contemporary German artists like Martin Kippenberger. Each of these artists used their own body not only to comment on their lives but to make fun of the grandiose self-representations by artists associated with creative genius in the modern period. These self-portraits often “straddl[e] the line between self-deprecation and self-glorification.”[9]

The history of self-portraiture that reflects on its own status in Germany extends well beyond Corinth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reaching all the way back to German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in the 1400s, a pioneer of self-portraiture as its own genre.[10] In light of this centuries-long timeline, it would make sense that the use of self-image would start to take on a new form, one that embraced the grotesque, comical, and self-deprecating, in the modern period, characterized by rapid social change and multiplying perspectives. Besides continuing in the tradition of self-portraiture, Kippenberger and Roth would mock the rise of the celebrity artist and in particular the white male artist in the era of mass media since the 1950s.

Corinth’s self-portraits from the early 1870s until his death in 1925 contain equal parts humor and seriousness.[11][12] While his depictions sometimes featured himself with a large belly or glass in hand, referencing his proclivity to drink and a stereotype of the modern artist as out of control, they also took a somber note. Corinth’s dark humor addresses his life of indulgences but also makes note of the mortality and suffering that we all face. Roth also uses humor to address his gastronomic enthusiasm, but reaches deeper to show a much less heroic artist, possibly struggling to accept himself in the varying roles he takes on. To understand Roth’s work, a closer look at his use (or lack) of figures, choice of titles, and the biographical nature of the print-drawings is necessary.

Fig. 1. Dieter Roth, Self-portrait as Printer, 1980, offset, pencil, ink, marker, paper, sheet: 9 in x13 in. University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts. Gift of Donald G. Lehn through the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation, UM 1980.46.5.1.

In two of Roth’s works, Self-portrait as Printer (fig. 1) and Self-portrait as Sprinter (fig. 2), we can clearly make out a human figure. These figures are not realistic or idealistic, but instead they take on somewhat grotesque forms in unidentifiable spaces. Roth employs visual humor to guide the viewer towards a light and mocking theme, not pressing for deeper analysis. Self-portrait as Printer is a bulbous, cartoon-like figure. Due to Roth’s titling of this piece as a self-portrait and his own gender identity as a male, the figure is presumably a man. A lack of perspective, simple circles for facial features, and limited color palette of green, red, and blue converge to portray a superficially naive scene. At first, one cannot be sure of what it represents. What is clear is that the main character is at a table or counter and seems to be maniacally eating blobs of color, yelling into the void, or possibly even yawning from exhaustion. The artist does not create here, but consumes. Roth could be referencing his own notorious works in which he pushed various foods like chocolate and cookies through a printing press.[13] He inverts that process in this image by scooping the marks of ink into his mouth. This scene in no way conveys anything important or meaningful, but rather parodies artistic practice as something base, instinctive, or animalistic. The mad dashes of color create a visual intrigue and allow the viewer to almost see Roth in action as he scribbled the across the chest of the figure. The main way Roth associates the figure with his real image is through the lack of hair representing his own bald head, another typically self-deprecating reference.

Fig. 2: Dieter Roth, Self-portrait as Sprinter, 1980, offset, pencil, ink, marker, paper, sheet: 9 in x 13 in. University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Gift of Donald G. Lehn through the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation, UM 1980.46.6.1.

Roth’s hasty drawing decisions also define his Self-portrait as Sprinter. The title of this self-portrait relates to Self-Portrait as Printer, creating a humorous and poetic connection between the two. In Roth’s Self-portrait as Sprinter, he replaces the predominantly marker lines of Self-Portrait as Printer with graphite pencil. The scene is given some perspective with a singular line in the background denoting the diagonal floor Roth’s figure seems to be stumbling across. He appears at the far right side of the page as if too quick to catch in the center—or as if he just slipped and was caught skidding off the page itself. His character once again does not try to emulate real life. Roth instead creates a childlike depiction of the human body as a sort of scribble. This body is much harder to understand than the red and green outline of Self-portrait as Printer, and could be described as grotesque. There seem to be two legs splayed in a running posture but the rest of the body is indecipherable. The torso seems to be made of breasts, or possibly huge testicles, in a particularly ridiculous distortion. An ovular head contains three circles to denote two eyes and a mouth. Roth suggests arms through a flurry of lines on either side of the body but those, too, remain unclear. Bits of color are smudged across the body very lightly, letting the graphite dominate the color scheme. The red of the piece is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Roth may depict blood or artistic lines of movement, but all these interpretations remain speculative, as if he invites us into a pointless exercise of impossible interpretation. The very premise of this piece relates to the clichés of modern expressionism, where speed is associated with authenticity, here taken to the point of ridiculousness.

Fig. 3: Dieter Roth, Self-portrait as Stupido, 1980, Pencil on printed paper, sheet: 9 1/16 in x 13 in. University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts. Gift of Donald G. Lehn through the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation, UM 1980.46.2.1.

Both of these cartoonish depictions show Roth frozen in time. In one he is paused mid-bite and the other mid-fall. These depictions of humans in action greatly contrast his more abstract Self-portrait as Stupido (fig. 3) and the rest of the stupidograms found in Collected Works Volume 9. This combination print/drawing takes on a completely different set of rules for his self-portrait. The faux-naive style is replaced with a simplistic and orderly grid of commas printed in a modern serif typeface that emphasizes their rounded forms. Each comma holds its own ground, while a few have been singled out by Roth’s touch. His uneven circles surround six different commas toward the bottom of the page, with no discernible pattern or reasoning behind his decisions. Roth expressed a disdain for commas, claiming that they are boring and rarely using them in his own writing, so presumably he considered them the most “useless” punctuation mark.[14] The commas also relate to Roth’s interest in concrete poetry in the 1960s. Related works include the rest of his Stupidograms, more one-off pages of commas either drawn upon or circled, which Roth compiled in his Collected Works Volume 9 (1980), entitled Stupidograms.[15] He brings his old format into the future with his handmade intervention in 1980. The one element that has not yet been addressed in any of the self-portraits may be their only unifying element. At the bottom of each piece Roth has messily signed his name and the year ’80 for all three in pencil. Is the viewer to read this as Roth denoting his pride in each piece? Or is it an ironic inclusion of the mark of the artist, helping him to position his work as a subversion of the usual format of the celebrity artist self-portrait?

Fig. 4: Martin Kippenberger, Alkoholfolter (Alcohol Torture), 1983, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. From the 15 part work Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (From the Simplest to Home), 1981–2. Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.

All of these self-portraits align with the self-reflexive nature of Corinth’s portraits and Kippenberger’s critical assessment of self—even if those artists use the medium of painting, already more self-aggrandizing despite their critique than Roth’s more humble paper interventions. Kippenberger was in fact directly inspired by Roth’s art.[16] [17] His studies in Hamburg overlap with multiple exhibitions of Roth’s in the same city, and as a young art student Kippenberger gained great insight from the art of Roth exhibited around the city.[18] [19] Roth’s works suggest parallels with Kippenberger’s 1983 painting Alkoholfolter (fig. 4). This self-portrait directly references Kippenberger’s life, making the artist’s life and work inseparable, like much of Roth’s work. In rough red brushwork and a loosely illustrative style, Kippenberger depicts himself as an alcoholic, his hands tied to a beer can, an absurd expression on his face. Through its messy brushwork and choice of the normally violent color red, the composition alone conveys the unhealthy relationship between Kippenberger and the beer he is literally chained to, but the title affirms our assumptions. He balances a serious title and subject matter with the somewhat silly facial expression and hands in an “I didn’t do it” pose. Literally translating to “Alcohol Torture,” the title makes the image even less easy to stomach—or more ridiculous. The brutally truthful image alludes to the addiction that would lead to the artist’s eventual death at the young age of 44 from liver cancer. As Gregory Williams describes, Kippenberger presents his faults and failures as a sign of authenticity in attempt to “rescue some of the missing authenticity of the late 1970s and 1980s,” an ear defined by the impersonal movements of Pop art and conceptualism.[20] His frankness about his own shortcomings, mixed with humor, break free from the art before him that refused to address the intimate aspects of life or took on more overt political messages.

Roth does not present himself as fully and truthfully as Kippenberger did while suffering from alcoholism, but he does put forth the insecurities that cluttered his mind and life. As curator Sarah Suzuki describes, Roth’s “complicated worldview [was] often colored by anxiety and self-doubt.”[21] We can see his self-doubt come through in his chosen titles. Each self-portrait describes a different facet of Roth’s inner life. He describes himself as a printer, a sprinter, and stupid. In each iteration the image tends to show a failed version of different aspects of his identity. The printmaker does not create, he consumes. The sprinter does not run, he falls. Only in Self-portrait as Stupido does he arguably succeed in depicting a stupid version of himself, accurately manifesting his self-described stupidity through a meaningless choice. His circles fail to suggest any deeper meaning or insight; he produces a self-portrait with no self.

Fig. 5: Martin Kippenberger, Self Portrait, 1988, oil on canvas, 200 x 240 cm, Saatchi Gallery.

It is possible that in these works Roth is channeling his own doubts about his failure to be a “real” artist. Even in his imagination he does not live up to the standards a typical artist is held against. The comical figure with its lack of neck and unnaturally round body is similar to the “overweight, feeble-looking body” seen in Kippenberger’s Self-Portrait (fig. 5) from 1988.[22] In the tradition of Corinth, Kippenberger uses a more realistic approach than Roth to depict a highly exaggerated and faceless portrait of himself. This image of self-mockery extends past his own identity and critiques the male artist in general as a way to “explor[e] the traditional link between masculinity and authenticity.”[23] Both Kippenberger and Roth put forth self-portraits that do not depict their actual visage and instead create bloated representations of themselves. Where Kippenberger makes reference to a famous portrait photo of Pablo Picasso with his exaggerated large, white briefs, and channels Corinth in his painterly style, however, Roth makes no clear reference to anyone other than himself.

This search for authenticity through work that is equal parts expression and provocation is the hallmark of punk. Kippenberger was actively involved in the punk rock community during the late 1970s and early 1980s in Berlin with his band, The Grugas. Both Kippenberger and Roth expose themselves as flawed humans and artist-provocateurs in their self-portraits. Where Kippenberger embraced his punk identity to the fullest extent, Roth exhibited some of the same traits in his art by pushing against the art-historical past in search of his own unique position in the art world through his unusual and expansive body of work. He embodies a punk, or perhaps even more specifically a “grunge” aesthetic, as Arthur Danto describes Roth’s work in his essay exploring the rejection of beauty in contemporary art.[24] For Danto, grunge was an “aesthetic of disorder” and “deliberately anti-beautiful.”[25] Roth was able to fully embody these categories with his disorderly work that did not attempt to be beautiful in the traditional sense.

His “nonaesthetic” style is decidedly anti-beautiful, according to Danto, and rejects the “narrow perspective of ‘the analytic of taste.’”[26] This rejection of cultural taste recalls Hebdige’s discussion of the punk movement’s destruction of fashion through rips and safety pins in Subculture: The Meaning of Style. Roth, as well as other artists who embraced the ugly, became prominent in the 1960s when the ugly and bland became accepted aesthetic qualities in Assemblage and early Pop art. The revival of interest in Marcel Duchamp and his readymades, which Duchamp defined as “anaesthetic,” mass produced objects he merely chose rather than made, helped to open up the strict confines once placed on artists and their work. Duchamp’s contributions showed that the concept and process of selection in a piece is just as important as the physical process of making. The quick movements, as seen in the three self-portrait drawings, are an extension of Roth’s mind and hand made with as much conceptual deliberation as any Renaissance painting before or hyperrealist canvas after him.

While Self-portrait as Printer and Self-portrait as Sprinter suggest a pointless emotional outburst in their maniacally scribbled figures, Self-portrait as Stupido suggests a calculated attack on his own self-image. In calling himself “stupido” he seems to lay out everything that is at stake, skewering our deepest cultural assumptions about the artist. It remains unclear whether the title came from a misspelling of the Spanish word estupido, and therefore yet another “mistake,” or if it is something else altogether. As in his so-called Stupidograms, the title sits in an odd position between describing Roth himself and simply referencing the simplicity of the artistic process.

Unlike the work of Corinth and Kippenberger, Roth’s self-portraits actively place his visual artwork in dialogue with his literary and concrete poetry experiments. Punk artists were known for looking at the past and gaining inspiration from literature in particular. Richard Hell and Patti Smith both reference Arthur Rimbaud through their work and personas and the lead singers for the Velvet Underground and the New York Dolls cite Charles Baudelaire’s poetry as inspiration.[27] [28] Literature was also vital in Roth’s life and artwork. Some of his most famous works, such as his Literaturwurst (Literature Sausage), were parodies made directly from the writings of famous authors. His sausage making acted as a way for him to “process” literature “he did not like or that were written by authors whose success he envied.”[29] It is clear through his over 40 versions of these sausages that Roth was well read, with the literature ranging from the British tabloid Daily Mail to the complete works of Hegel, which took 20 sausages to accomplish. Language and art were utterly intertwined for Roth, and both intimately—or grotesquely—related to everyday life. His Stupidograms and Self-Portrait as Stupido investigate the visual nature of writing.

Considering Roth’s obsession with the written word and extensive knowledge of literature, it is possible that his Stupidograms and Self-portrait as Stupido make direct reference to the play The Pilgrimage to Parnassus. This often overlooked play from the Elizabethan era features a character named “Stupido.” This man is noted for his inability to finish the education he sought for, his disapproval of the “vaine artes” like “Rhetorique, Poetrie, and Philosphie,” and calling all artists “phantastique fools.”[30] While Roth considered himself an artist, his ideology aligned with some of Stupido’s own. He was vehemently against the art world, and “he agree[d] to display art in galleries, only to undermine the gallery’s historical/social function.”[31] While Stupido was unable to properly infiltrate the world he critiqued, Roth was a part of the art world attempting to critique it from within.

The question of artistic talent, or its absence, also links the literary character Stupido and Roth. Stupido’s disdain for scholarship is only a veil to mask his lack of talent. In an article about Barbara Wien’s art gallery in Berlin, Hanne Loreck uncovers valuable material on Roth’s Stupidograms, which were part of Wien’s gallery collection. Loreck argues that these ideograms are in fact ironic criticisms “on the logocentrism and mania for completeness of even his own pseudo-scientific imitation of scholarly research-mania.”[32] In his random drawings done on top of the printed chunks of commas he attempted “to deconstruct the value of information by destroying its undifferentiated mass.”[33] As Stupido acts indifferent and above the education he could not achieve, Roth acknowledges his academic as well as artistic limitations through his visually simple works on paper.

All of these layers of meaning and unconventional art practice leave the buyer, museum, and viewer in an odd position. While these three self-portraits do fit into the traditional idea of artists as painters and draftsmen, many of his other pieces that incorporate rotting materials do not allow for preservation of his work and thus defy the traditional notion that art will outlast its creator and transcend time. For Roth this was not a concern. He decidedly kept museums at a distance by making work about the deterioration of its own materials over time. It is obvious through his organic sculptures of chocolate, birdseed, and fruit that he did not care what a collector or museum gained from his art – something to display, admire, and keep, if not something that was to going to appreciate in value. Instead these buyers were given slowly rotting corpses of Roth’s work, sometimes even in the shape of Roth himself. His objection to creating something that will last and fit into the neat boundaries of traditional art extends to his self-portraits analyzed here. Due to their hybrid status as drawing-prints, high volume, and messy application, they often do not satisfy the needs of museums and collectors.

By using an easily identifiable symbol, Roth places himself on a common ground with his viewers. The unique marks he layers on top of the rows of commas, sometimes resembling objects, other times simply circling random commas, are a subversive way of rejecting the norms of academia and scholarly work. He forms his own relationship to commas that he displays for the masses, removing the comma from its “comfort zone” as a punctuation mark and “loosening” the comma’s “original meaning by establishing new context.”[34]

These pieces are part print and thus lend themselves to easy reproducibility, but are also part drawing and thus one of a kind. Even with this approach, manipulating the print by hand, Roth still ends up with multiples. Each of the print-drawings here are only one iteration of the many variations he produced of the basic print. While the contents inside his many artist’s books and portfolios are the same, he would sometimes include a special print that had the same background as other pieces but would be modified differently for each book.

Roth imbues even the most standard academic media of art history, the catalogue raisonné, with the punk ethos, as rather than allow an establishment to carefully document his work, he documents his own history. That is the case with Self-portrait as Stupido, Self-portrait as Printer, and Self-portrait as Sprinter. Each of these prints is a special and unique edition included in the front of his series of Collected Works. Through this series, he takes the artist’s catalogue raisonné into his own hands by personally publishing the Collected Works series of which there are 20 volumes that document all of his work until 1979. The books were not issued sequentially—volume 15 was released first—nor did they present Roth’s work chronologically.[35] As with the prints, he would go back and rework some of his original pieces before placing them inside a volume. Where the catalogue raisonné provides scholars with accurate and chronological information about an artist’s oeuvre, Roth’s Collected Volumes effectively reject that notion, introducing further disorder.

The many layers of Roth’s work, their hybrid nature, parodic self-references, anti-art world status, and messy aesthetic, are evident in the three self-portraits at the UMCA. Roth’s work and life are so intertwined that you cannot look at his work without considering his past and his emotional state, however tongue-in-cheek he presents it. Self-portrait as Printer and Self-portrait as Sprinter suggest Roth’s own insecurities and anxieties about his life and career. As much as they subvert art-world clichés, they provide the viewer an intimate look into his life—a seemingly anti-punk notion, in relation to a movement that famously turned its aggression outward toward the world. Roth’s hasty marks and subject matter accurately reflect his own life, as he was known for being messy. The artist Helen Frederick, a student at Rhode Island School of Design the same time Roth was an instructor, observed that he sometimes even had “eggs in his pockets…running all down his legs.”[36] Roth did not care about his appearance; he only seemed to care about his art. Self-portrait as Stupido repeats some of those qualities with the wobbly, tiny circles and self-referential title, even as it brings attention to the systems that Roth felt he was fighting against.

Academia’s never-ending reinscription of rules and categories is torn apart by the Stupidograms. Roth’s work goes even further and attacks the one entity that has now embraced him fully, the art world. As his assemblage work made of birdseed, chocolate, and sausage slowly rots in the collections of museums across the world, we can turn to his more permanent pieces, such as the printing-drawings, to draw conclusions about the inner workings of this complex, nervous man. Hopefully, they can unveil an artist who was never afraid to be himself—a punk.


[1] Dick Hebdige, Subculture (Florence: Taylor and Francis, 1981) Accessed May 7, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, 142.

[2] Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 9.

[3] Dick Hebdige, Subculture: the Meaning of Style (Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002), 132.

[4] Hebdige, Subculture: the Meaning of Style, 105.

[5] Mackenzie Wark, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), 8.

[6] Rick Poynor, “The Art of Punk and the Punk Aesthetic,” Design Observer, published June 9, 2016,

[7] Felicitas Thun, “My Eye is a Mouth,” in Dieter Roth: Druckgrafik und Bucher/Prints and Books, 1949-1979 (Cologne: Oktagon Verlag, 1998), 15.

[8] Dieter Roth, interview with Felicitas Thun, in Dieter Roth: Druckgrafik und Bucher/Prints and Books, 1949-1979, 144.

[9] Gregory H. Williams, Permission to Laugh (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012), 97.

[10] Steven Platzman, Cezanne: The Self-Portraits (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 10.

[11] Williams, Permission to Laugh, 97.

[12] Horst Uhr, Lovis Corinth (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 5.

[13] Helen Frederick, interview by Dr. Dirk Dobke, Helen Frederick, December 17, 2003,

[14] Suzuki, Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing, 12.

[15] Stefan Ripplinger, “Shit, Pudding and all the Trappings – On Dieter Roth’s Books,” in Dieter Roth: Books + Multiples (New York: Thames & Hudson), 194.

[16] Donald Kuspit, “Loosening Up: Dieter Roth’s Tragedy,” artnet, published March 22, 2004,

[17] “Dieter Roth: Unique Editions,” Carolina Nitsch Gallery, accessed May 9, 2017,

[18] “Martin Kippenberger: biography,” Tate Modern, accessed May 9, 2017,

[19] “Dieter Roth, Group shows, 1970/71 to 1974,” Dieter Roth Foundation, accessed May 9, 2017,

[20] Williams, Permission to Laugh, 104.

[21] Sarah Suzuki, Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing (New York: MoMA, 2013), 8.

[22] Williams, Permission to Laugh, 97.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Arthur C. Danto, “Embodied Meanings, Isotypes, and Aesthetical Ideas,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65, no. 1 (Winter 2007), 126.

[25] Danto, “Embodied Meanings, Isotypes, and Aesthetical Ideas,” 124-126.

[26] Danto, “Embodied Meanings, Isotypes, and Aesthetical Ideas,” 126.

[27] Terence Diggory, Encyclopedia of the New York School Poets (New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009), 398.

[28] “Velvet Underground: The New York City Punk-Rock Poets,” American Academy of Poets, published October 29, 2004,

[29] Dirk Dobke, “Literature Sausage,” in Roth Time, ed. Theodora Vischer and Bernadette Walter (New York: MoMA, 2003), 74.

[30] Debra Belt, “The Poetics of Hostile Response, 1575-1610.” Criticism 33, no. 4 (1991), 435.

[31] Lawrence Rinder, Dieter Roth: MATRIX/BERKELEY (Berkeley, CA: University Art Museum, 1990).

[32] Hanne Loreck, “Reading the German Avant-Garde: Wiens Laden & Verlag, Berlin,” Art on Paper 3, no. 6 (1999), 34,

[33] Loreck, “Reading the German Avant-Garde,” 34-35.

[34] Ibid.

[35] “Collected Works,” MoMA, accessed April 28, 2017,

[36] Helen Frederick, interview by Dr. Dirk Dobke, Helen Frederick, December 17, 2003,