Imants Tillers has been described as Australia’s most important Post-Modern artist with his large-scale paintings addressing the country’s anxieties about its cultural and geographical distance from Europe.
Tillers studied architecture at Sydney University (1969-1972) and has exhibited extensively since 1973, considering all his work from 1981 as part of a lifetime series, the Book of Power with the artist assembling small canvases into large gridded artworks of images from Western culture.
Tillers’ art subverts the premise that Australia’s heritage has been built upon a ‘tyranny of distance.’ His work gives pre-eminence to a meaningful experience of culture through its reproduction, appropriating well-known paintings and establishing associations between disparate ideologies and cultures, providing new readings and ownership of this iconography as critical to Australia’s hybrid identity.
In Conversation with the Bride (1974-1975) Tillers referenced Duchamp’s Bride Stripped Bare and Australian watercolourist Hans Heysen’s eucalyptus trees painted around the same time as Duchamp’s conceptual work, considering these as equally artificial and representative of cultural values.
Tillers has exhibited extensively in international exhibitions and represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1986. His work is held in the collections of many significant public art galleries and institutions in Australia and internationally.