In a relationship that transcends the usual definitions of homage and influence, Imants Tillers has maintained an intimacy with the work of Giorgio de Chirico for over five decades. De Chirico was one of the first artists that Tillers quoted in his magnum opus, the Book of Power (1981—ongoing), a systematic ledger of all of Tillers’ work, completed in grids of his signature canvasboards. Indeed, art historian Wystan Curnow argues that in the “alternative model of art history posed by the Book of Power”, it is none other than de Chirico who wins out as “the hero of the modern period”.
This is the kind of re-writing of history that only artists can do. Tillers’ interest in de Chirico is spurred on not only by the early so-called ‘metaphysical’ paintings that made him legendary amongst the early Surrealist artists, but also the once-controversial, much reviled ‘late’ paintings. As Tillers writes, “Many thought his genius had mysteriously evaporated. What is called his ‘late’ period spans the period from about 1920 to his death in 1978, 58 years in which he was regarded as some kind of “turncoat” or “pariah” in the international art world”. The difficult qualities of de Chirico’s later work, including his habit of backdating and remaking exact versions of earlier work, are the keys to unlocking this recent series of paintings that centre on de Chirico’s masterpiece from 1917, The Disquieting Muses.
Opening Event: Saturday 27 May, 3 – 5pm, including book launch and artist talk.
Follow this artist
Sign up to receive the latest updates on this artist including exhibitions, VIP previews, landmark events, news and milestones.