A fluid approach: Roth Bar takes pride of place at Basel’s Les Trois Rois
Few spots in Basel are as legendary as Les Trois Rois, a grand hotel on the banks of the Rhine that dates back to 1681. Usually a major haunt for the art and design community that meet for the annual Art Basel fair, this year the hotel was actively involved in the artistic spectacle in the form of Roth Bar – a fully-functional pop-up designed by Björn, Oddur and Einar Roth (the son and grandsons of German-born Swiss artist Dieter Roth) and organised by the Zurich-based gallery Hauser & Wirth. Located in the hotel’s foyer, the bar is a collage of found and discarded objects: a three-dimensional iteration of the artist’s works.
The concept was initially conceived by Dieter Roth in the early 1980s, as an ever-changing installation. In 1997, he demanded that a Roth Bar was installed at Hauser & Wirth for his solo show there – a dynamic space where every beer bottle served became part of the installation, and conversations were recorded and archived. Developed as a travelling exhibition, the bar has since been installed in Zurich, Reykjavik and Milan.
To celebrate its Basel stop-off, Thomas Huhn, Les Trois Rois’ chef de bar, has created a cocktail in honour of the artist, his work and his family – ‘Le Roi Roth’ is a heady concoction of vodka, Lillet and Cointreau.