Father-Son Art In Chelsea: Hauser & Wirth’s Newest Exhibition, ‘Dieter Roth. Björn Roth’

Bjorn Roth at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea with Chocolate Heads.

Dieter Roth, the Swiss-German artist who died in 1998 and explored themes of decay, rot, and impermanence throughout his long, wild career–food left to fester, found objects to molder–is, somewhat ironically, perfectly positioned to have his creative legacy not only live on, but also to flourish.

That's because Roth's son Bjorn, and Bjorn's sons Oddur and Einer, have taken on the task of preserving and recreating the Roth patriarch's work, some of which can now be seen at art-world hot shots Hauser & Wirth's cavernous new Chelsea gallery. 

Art in Chelsea, as chefs prepare part of the Artwork of Bjorn Roth.

Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Messy, Always Art

There's a lot to take in at Hauser & Wirth, and not just because it is now one of the biggest art galleries in Chelsea at 24,000-square-feet. Solo Scenes is a long wall covered with 128 video screens, each showing mundane moments from the last year of Dieter Roth's life, as the artist went about the daily tasks of eating, bathing, napping, reading, thinking. At the center of the space is The New York Kitchen where, on the day we went, a pair of "chefs" were busy cooking up sweet sculptures for one of Roth's most famous pieces, the slightly-ominous Chocolate Tower and the bright and festive Sugar Tower, both which are constant works-in-progress. Toward the back is another of Roth's seminal works, Large Table Ruin, which is essentially an ever-expanding installation made up of gloriously, disastrously messy pieces from Dieter's, and now Bjorn's, art studios. 

Piece of art from Bjorn Roth and Deiter Roth hanging in the Chelsea Art Gallery.

A photo of Deiter Roth's The Sugar Tower exhibit at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea.

Check the Art, Grab a Drink too

Dieter Roth. Bjorn Roth, at Hauser & Wirth is definitely a fun show, and worth a visit if only to scope out what they've done to the massive space, which used to be home to The Roxy, the legendary late-'70s early-'80 nightclub. And while you're there, be sure to check out–and, possibly, have a tipple or two–at the nutso Art Bar, a Hauser & Wirth's permanent installation by Bjorn and Oddur Roth. Tucked away in a sort of aerie overlooking both the street and the gallery's long, stripey stairway, the Art Bar serves booze and coffee, and is crammed filled with craziness. It's like grabbing a drink inside of Dieter Roth's brain.                    

The ArtBar located inside the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea.

Dieter Roth. Bjorn Roth, at Hauser & Wirth details 

Dieter Roth. Bjorn Roth will be on exhibit at Hauser & Wirth new Chelsea gallery through April 13; the Art Bar will be there presumably as long the gallery stands. Hauser & Wirth Chelsea is located on 18th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues and is open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Art Bar's hours seem to be more erratic: it was closed for consumption when we went on a freezing Friday afternoon, but you could still walk around and see it. For lots more information Dieter Roth. Bjorn Roth, at Hauser & Wirth, please see the gallery's website, here.  If you are also interested in seeing some other art in Chelsea, there are always great exhibits at the Anton Kern Gallery and the Pace Gallery, which are all within walking distance from Hauser & Wirth.

Bjorn Roth walks around the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea.

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