Dieter Roth, Gorgona artists group Gorgona No. 9 1966

  • Not on view

When Roth first started making concrete poetry, in the mid-1950s, he termed his compositions “ideograms.” In them, pictures are formed out of letters, punctuation, or other letterset characters. As the rigor of this exercise began to wear on him, he found release in a visually related but philosophically distinct activity, making what he called “stupidograms.” Working from a grid of printed commas, he used a pen or pencil to coax out looping chains, teacups, toothbrushes, and other forms, mimicking word-search games. As part of his increasing play with verbal-visual equivalency, here the artist circled punctuation to form pictures rather than circling letters to form words.

Gallery label from Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth, February 17–June 24, 2013.
Periodical with screenprinted cover and letterpress plate with felt-tip pen additions
sheet: 5 7/8 x 4" (15 x 10.1 cm); page (each): 8 1/4 x 7 5/8" (21 x 19.3 cm); overall (closed): 8 5/16 x 7 5/8 x 1/16" (21.1 x 19.4 x 0.2 cm)
Josip Vaništa
Committee on Prints and Illustrated Books Fund
Object number
© 2020 Estate of Dieter Roth
Drawings and Prints

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].