The Alan Cristea Gallery is exhibiting an important group of unique works by Dieter Roth, relating to his seminal Six Piccadillies portfolio. This collection is the most important single body of work by the artist ever to have been offered for sale and the majority of the works have never been exhibited or seen before. The collection will form part of the major retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjavik and the Reykjavik Art Museum prior to our exhibition in London.
Six Piccadillies was a ground-breaking portfolio of six prints made in 1968-70. The initial image of Piccadilly Circus came from a postcard owned by the artist Rita Donagh. For each of the six editioned prints, the image on the card was blown up, printed and then laminated onto both sides of a board. One side of each of these was then overlaid with a variety of complex screenprinted surfaces which variously distorted, obscured and reinvented the original picture.
Roth worked with the screenprinter Peter Haas using materials and processes never before used in the screenprint medium. Such was the complexity of the process that there were a number of so-called 'misprints'. Some of these were fascinating variants in their own right and Roth signed them as unique works, dictating that some should be displayed as single panels, others mounted in groups as composite pieces and a further group be printed and editioned after his death. Only now have his instructions been fully realised and, for the first time, these unique prints will be shown in the context of the whole Piccadilly project.
Dieter Roth was one of the most original and enigmatic figures in post-war European Art, creating an exceedingly inventive body of work in a wide range of mediums. Over recent years his work has received the critical acclaim it has so long deserved and was the subject of an important touring retrospective in 2004 held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and the Schaulager Museum in Basel in 2004.
The exhibition at the Alan Cristea gallery will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Editions Hansjorg Mayer.