Rick Amor is among Australia’s leading figurative artists. In 1965, he studied alongside John Brack at the National Gallery School and in 1968, was awarded the NGV Travelling Scholarship. This bright start continued throughout his artistic career, highlights of which include being appointed Australia’s Official War Artist in 1999.
Amor’s practice follows surrealism and symbolism. Often set in the empty parts of day - twilight, midnight and dawn - his imagery is cloaked in an indescribable mystery. Ordinary landscapes are converted into sites of psychological unease. A solitary watcher may be present, the sole witness to some great unspoken tension. Amor’s final works are the fruit of a drawn-out process – sketches become drawings, which grow into watercolors, prints and half-size paintings. Only some mature into fully fledged masterpieces. In 2008 review of his work, Sebastian Smee wrote he was:
“...convinced not only of Amor's singularity in contemporary Australian art – there is really nobody like him – but of his importance. His commitment is unmistakable, his intelligence acute, and his best images impossible to forget.”
Amor has been the subject of numerous public exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Australian Print Workshop. He is a nine-time Archibald Prize finalist, the subject of two monographs and represented in many public collections.