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Rick Amor

b. 1948

Rick Amor (b. 1948) is a Victorian-based painter, printmaker and sculptor. Amor grew up in the Melbourne beachside region of Frankston and went to the National Gallery School, where he was taught by John Brack from 1966 to 1968. On graduation he won the drawing prize and the travelling scholarship.

From 1973 to 1984 Amor lived in a cottage attached to the home of former National Gallery of Victoria director Daryl Lindsay and his wife Joan, author of Picnic at Hanging Rock, painting between carrying out odd jobs for the old couple. During this impecunious period he produced a series of cartoons attacking the Fraser government for the Labor Star and the Tribune and made series of drawings of labourers, construction workers and slaughtermen that were exhibited at the Trades Hall Gallery.

From 1983 he began to paint more personal and emotionally charged works, often incorporating a haunting ‘solitary watcher’. Some of his brooding, shadowy paintings of suburban and inner Melbourne now number amongst the defining images of the city.

Amor won the National Australia Bank Art Prize in 1988, and over the 1990s, awarded several art residencies, he worked in Barcelona, New York and London. By 1999 he had more than twenty solo commercial shows and several regional gallery survey shows to his name. That year, as Australia's first official war artist since Vietnam, he travelled to East Timor to document the devastated land and the reconstruction efforts of peacekeepers. The resulting works are in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

Amor shows regularly in commercial galleries in Melbourne and Brisbane and his paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures are in the collections of most major Australian public galleries. Along with commissioned and donated paintings - including one of his many grave self-portraits - the National Portrait Gallery has a number of his prints and drawings of his friends in Melbourne’s serious artistic and literary circles.

The National Portrait Gallery curated the exhibition Rick Amor 21 Portraits in 2014-2015.

Updated 2019