Rick Amor

R i c k   A m o r

Looking Back

In 1989, I bought a hand-bound sketchbook made with quality paper — Arches, I think — and took it with me to London. I began making myself postcards. Now, I take a watercolour sketchbook with me on most trips. I have separate books for travel overseas and within Australia.

I use watercolour for plein air painting to make studies for possible future oil paintings. It can be fiendishly difficult to handle well and, paradoxically, a simple medium for summarising a scene. Recording views
 in all weather requires some speed and dexterity, refining skills that are useful in the studio. I take watercolours with me when travelling because of its portability as a medium, particularly for working in a sketchbook.

Having completed a Certificate of Art at the Caulfield Institute of Technology in 1965, Rick Amor studied from 1966 to 1968 at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, where he obtained an Associate Diploma of Painting. He has been the recipient of several Australia Council studio residencies, which have allowed him to work in London, New York and Barcelona. In 1999, the Australian War Memorial appointed him as the official war artist to East Timor. 

Amor has held over 50 solo exhibitions since first exhibiting at Joseph Brown Gallery in 1974 and has shown annually at Niagara Galleries for 30 years. In 1993, an exhibition mounted by Bendigo Art Gallery toured Victoria and Tasmania, presenting his work as a printmaker and graphic artist. An important exhibition of Rick’s sculpture was undertaken by Benalla Art Gallery in 2002, including many previously unseen works.

Amor’s work has been the subject of three major survey exhibitions. The first, curated by McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park in 1990, toured regional galleries throughout Victoria and South Australia. In 2005, Rick Amor: Standing in the Shadows was the second McClelland Gallery initiative, curated by Robert Lindsay. In 2008, Heide Museum of Modern Art presented Rick Amor: A Single Mind, an extensive review of paintings and works on paper from 1962 onward. Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum is currently showing Rick Amor: From Study to Painting, an exhibition of paintings showing their evolution from earlier studies and sketches.

In 2007, Amor won the prestigious $100,000 McClelland Sculpture Award for his haunting work, Relic.

He is widely represented in public collections throughout Australia, including The Australian National Gallery; the Australian War Memorial; the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; the Art Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, as well as in numerous private collections in Australia and overseas.

A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 2012, Rick Amor lives and works in Melbourne.

rickamor.com.au