Maja Oeri

  • Maja Oeri

    I was still a teenager when Dieter Roth first showed up in my life about thirty years ago. He came one night to my parents’ house in Basel with a group of actors after a premiere. Already pretty tanked, he sat down at the piano and played a strange, singular kind of music with a dull melancholy refrain. “This is Dieter Roth!” the gallerist Felix Handschin whispered to me. “He’s the greatest, he’s even more important than Beuys, you’ll see.”

    I met him properly in 1977 when I was working as an assistant at Handschin’s gallery in Basel. Handschin and Roth—both in financial straits—had, so they