High-end New York galleries are expanding like crazy to keep pace with the uppermost echelons of the art market—witness Pace Gallery’s fourth New York location, David Zwirner’s gargantuan 20th Street building, and Hauser & Wirth’s new downtown space, designed to accomodate larger sculptures and installations than the gallery’s uptown townhouse.
What better artist to inaugurate Hauser & Wirth’s expansive new gallery than the sprawling and unwieldy Dieter Roth? Best known for his extravagant use of rotting cheese and other unstable materials, Roth was an influential but impossible-to-pin-down figure in twentieth century art. An early artist’s book was stuffed in sausage skin. One of his last installations incorporated a fire ladder and a live rabbit. The exhibition Dieter Roth. Björn Roth focuses on the artist’s 20-year collaboration with his son Björn, including paintings, an entire floor removed from a studio in Iceland, and towers of stacked sculptures cast in sugar and chocolate. Dieter’s sons Björn and Oddur continue their father’s performative legacy with a “Roth New York Bar,” a fully functioning liquor and coffee bar.
WHERE TO SEE
Dieter Roth. Björn Roth is open through April 13 at Hauser & Wirth, New York (511 West 18th Street).