IMANTS TILLERS

Imants Tillers

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IMANTS TILLERS is a visual artist, writer and curator. Born in Sydney in 1950, Imants Tillers currently lives and works in Cooma, New South Wales. In 1973 Tillers graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (Hons), and the University Medal. Tillers has exhibited widely since the late 1960s, and has represented Australia at important international exhibitions, such as the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1975, Documenta 7 in 1982, and the 42nd Venice Biennale in 1986. 

Major solo surveys of Tillers’ work include Imants Tillers: works 1978 – 1988 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1988); Imants Tillers: 19301, at the National Art Gallery, Wellington (1989); Diaspora, National Art Museum, Riga, Latvia (1993); Diaspora in Context at the Pori Art Museum, Pori (1995); Towards Infinity: Works by Imants Tillers, Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO) in Monterrey, Mexico (1999); and in 2006 a major retrospective of his work, Imants Tillers: one world many visions, was held at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Tillers has also exhibited in numerous group exhibitions around the world, including An Australian Accent at PS1, New York (1984); Antipodean Currents at the Guggenheim Museum, Soho (1995); Australian Perspecta (1981,1987-89); The World Over/Under Capricorn: Art in the Age of Globalisation at the City Gallery, Wellington and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1996); the Biennale of Sydney (1979, 1986, 1988, and 2006); Kunst Nach Kunst (Art After Art), at the Neues Museum Weserburg, Germany (2003); and Prism, at the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo (2006).

As one of Australia’s most significant artists, Imants Tillers has been at the forefront of contemporary art for over three decades. Since 1981 Tillers has used his signature canvas boards to explore themes relevant to contemporary culture, from the centre/periphery debates of the 1980s, to the effects of migration, displacement and diaspora. Most recently, his paintings have been concerned with place, locality and evocations of the landscape. 

Winner of the Wynne Prize for landscape painting for two consecutive years (2012-2013), Imants Tillers has been at the forefront of contemporary art for over three decades. Tillers has received numerous awards and commissions, such as the Osaka Triennale Prize (Gold in 1993, Bronze in 1996, and Silver in 2001), and the inaugural Beijing International Art Biennale Prize for Excellence (2003). Major commissions include the Federation Pavilion, Centennial Park (1985 – 87); the Founding Donors Painting, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1991), and two key sculptures for Sydney Olympic Park (2002). Imants Tillers has been a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 2001. In 2005 he was awarded a Doctor of Letters honoris causa for ‘his long and distinguished contribution to the field of arts’, by the University of New South Wales.