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
© 2023 Estate of Dieter Roth
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