The canvas panels from this series were painted after American artist Frederic Waugh's 'Paintings of the sea', which were reproduced in Walter Foster's 'How to draw' series. Imants Tillers copied one painting each week for the period of a year from the reproductions in Foster's book, including their gold frames. Six canvases from the resulting series are displayed here in a grid format.
From 1973 Tillers had begun working with images derived from artworks by other artists as he moved towards an appropriation-based art. His practice was influenced by the prevalence of artwork reproductions and their role in mediating the experience of art. Paradoxically, his work reveals how each reproduction exists as a unique version of the original artwork, with inconsistencies of colour and tone intrinsic to each reproduction.
gouache on canvas (six paintings), text (six framed panels)
Installation dimensions variable according to wall size :
a - No. 25 [painting]; 34.2 x 42.5 cm; canvas
b - No. 31 [painting]; 34 x 42.5 cm; canvas
c - No. 37 [painting]; 34.5 x 42.5 cm; canvas
d - No. 43 [painting]; 34.5 x 42.8 cm; canvas
e - No. 50 [painting]; 34 x 42.2 cm; canvas
f - No. 52 [painting]; 34.5 x 42.5 cm; canvas
g - No. 25 [text]; 17.7 x 19.9 x 1.3 cm; frame
h - No. 31 [text]; 18.3 x 23.2 x 1.3 cm; frame
i - No. 37 [text]; 18.3 x 21.9 x 1.3 cm; frame
j - No. 43 [text]; 17.7 x 20.6 x 1.3 cm; frame
k - No. 50 [text]; 18.1 x 23.1 x 1.3 cm; frame
l - No. 52 [text]; 18.1 x 21.8 x 1.3 cm; frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
© Imants Tillers
Shown in 7 exhibitions
52 Displacements (of Image, of Time, of Water, of Feeling: One Year's Work), Watters Gallery, East Sydney, 1979–1979
Australian Perspecta 1981, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 May 1981–21 Jun 1981
Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981
Popism, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne, 16 Jun 1982–25 Jul 1982
Imants Tillers: 1978-1988:
- Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, London 07 Apr 1988–22 May 1988
- The Orchard Gallery, Londonderry, Northern Ireland 1988–1988
- Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Glasgow 1988–1988
Photosynthesis, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, 18 Nov 1994–20 Dec 1994
Towards Infinity: works by Imants Tillers, Museo de arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Mexico, 24 Sep 1999–01 Jan 2000
Referenced in 10 publications
Graham Coulter-Smith, The Postmodern Art of Imants Tillers: Appropriation 'en abyme', 1971-2002, London, 2002, 74 (illus.), 147.
Wystan Curnow, Imants Tillers and the 'Book of Power', "Part 1: Imants Tillers', Singapore, 1998, 17, 19 (illus.).
Suzo Gabik, Art and Australia (Vol. 18, No. 4), 'Report from Australia: Part 2", pg.352-55, Sydney, Winter 1981.
John Kaldor AM (Curator), An Australian Accent, Sydney, 1984, 19, 20 (illus.).
Charles Merewether, Towards Infinity: works by Imants Tillers, 'Displacement, Diaspora, Dissemination', pg.21-27, Mexico, 1999, 22, 32 (illus.). cat.no. 2, illustration is an installation shot of all 52 canvases
Bernice Murphy, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Contemporary Art - Australian, European and American', pg. 37-46, Sydney, 1981, 46 (illus.). cat.no.15
Bernice Murphy, Australian Perspecta 1981, Sydney, 1981, 134-135, 135 (illus.). cat.no.116
National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Popism, 1982. cat.no.23
Michael Newman, Imants Tillers: works 1978-1988, 'Imants Tillers: the artist as translator', London, 1988, (illus), (colour illus.). no pagination or catalogue numbers; illustration is of No.47
n-space, Sydney, 52 Displacements, Sydney, NSW, 1981, (illus.). no pagination