Imants Tillers is an artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited extensively since the late 1960s and has represented Australia at significant international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (1986), Documenta 7 (1982) and the São Paulo Bienal (1975). Tillers came to prominence during the 1970s and has been an influential advocate of conceptual art and postmodern discourse in Australia. He works primarily with appropriation, intuitively combining existing artworks, ideas, literature and 'ready-made' poetry in his imagery.
In 1981 Tillers developed a system of painting in which multiple canvasboard panels fit together to form large, gridded works. The individual boards are numbered from 1 to infinity and are considered to be part of a continually-expanding whole, collectively titled “The Book of Power”. Tillers' canvasboard paintings have explored a range of themes over the last four decades including authorial originality, the reproduction and distribution of images, diaspora and displacement, landscape and place, and metaphysics. In the 1980s Tillers was one of the first artists to engage with Aboriginal art as a contemporary genre (sometimes controversially) and his most recent work considers the unexpected resonances between Aboriginal art and European metaphysical painters such as Giorgio de Chirico.
Major solo exhibitions of Tillers’ work have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London (1988), the National Art Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand (1989), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO) in Monterrey, Mexico (1999), the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra (2006), and the Laurence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth (2009). In 2018, a significant retrospective exhibition of Tillers' work, Journey to Nowhere, was held at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga, and a feature length documentary, Thrown into the World, was made about Tillers' life and work.