Imants Tillers was a student at The University of Sydney when he participated with Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Wrapped Coast project at Little Bay, Sydney. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Architecture Degree (Hons) and the University Medal in 1973, the year of his first solo exhibition at Watters Gallery. In 1975, Tillers was included in the XIII Bienal de São Paulo.

Since the early 1980s, Imants Tillers has worked almost exclusively on a program of works comprising small individual canvasboards, conceived as part of his major opus, The Book of Power – an ongoing hybrid sequence of appropriations, the core motivation of which is to invert the outmoded, if still prevailing order of centre to province, coloniser to colony, overlord to underdog, and to assert the artist’s identity.

Widely regarded within Australia as the most important artist of his generation, with representation in the Biennale of Sydney (1979, 1986, 1988) and Australian Perspecta (1981, 1987-89), Imants Tillers has been represented in major international exhibitions, including Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany (1982) and the 42nd Biennale of Venice (1986). Tillers’s work has also been represented at such prestigious venues as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Los Angeles County Museum, US; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK; the National Museum of Seoul, Korea; Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen; and London’s Serpentine Gallery.

Major solo survey exhibitions of Tillers’s work have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1988); the National Art Gallery, Wellington, NZ (1989); the National Art Museum, Riga, Latvia (1993); the Pori Art Museum, Finland (1995); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico (1999-2000); and the National Gallery of Australia (2006).

Imants Tillers’s awards and commissions include the Dome of the Federation Pavilion, Centennial Park, Sydney (1985-87); the Founding Donors Commission, entrance lobby, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1991); and The Attractor and Eight Women, Sydney Olympic Park (2002). Principal among his international awards are Japan’s Osaka Triennale Grand Prize (1993) and the inaugural Beijing International Art Biennale Prize for Excellence (2003).

Tillers has an extensive bibliography, including the Wystan Curnow publication, Imants Tillers and the 'Book of Power’ (Craftsman House, G+B Art International, 1998); Graham Coulter-Smith’s, The Postmodern Art of Imants Tillers: Appropriation 'en abyme’ , 1971-2001 (London, 2002); The Oxford History of Western Art (OUP, 2000) and The 20th Century Art Book (Phaidon, London, 1996).

Murray-Cree, Laura
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