Rick Amor Essay
Published Wednesday, 2 January 2002Amor in the series of work seen in ARN2 extends the tradition of Romantic
painting to incorporate the existential of angst of contemporary society.
Whilst the German Romanticists of the late 18th century were exploring the
relationship of the figure in the landscape as a metaphor for humanity's
contemplation of the sublime Amor offers a more present-day account.
Image: A town by the sea (looking back), 137 x 168cm; oil on linen; 1990
work the figure plays an integral part in his work. A sense of isolation is
found in his work offering an austere assessment of humanity as the key element
within the subject matter. The figure in his paintings established a sense of
empathy in which the audience feels for Amor's subejcts.
Intrinsic to his work is the sense of being, the quality of the audience
recognising the scene and empathising with the figure. Amor purposely builds an
evocative relationship between the figure and the environment encompassing the
landscape. His work creates a deeper reality that goes beyond the illusionistic
appearance of simply what is seen. The scale of the environment in reference to
the figure that inhabits the canvas alludes to a sense of alienation. The
landscape reflects both natural and modern life; the juxtaposition of the
figure in these settings suggests the essence of humanity in its environment.
The landscape adds to the artist's ability to visually articulate the 'essence
of humanity', as stated in the interview with Bill Nuttall (Directory of
"All Amor's subject matter is drawn from life or life experiences... He
composes pictures drawing all these elements together to give us a romantic or
What the artist feels is summed up by his 'constructed interplay' between the
figure and the landscape, conveying a sense of alienation and existential dread
which is succinctly conveyed to the audience. His treatment of the figures
offers a portrayal of the metaphysics found in everyday life. The function and
value of his paintings resides in the interpretation construed by the audience.
The viewer recognises the personal account that dwells within each painting and
attempts to clarify their own emotive and intellectual response in terms of
their own personal readings of the work.
Amor attempts to capture the 'sublime' of Postmodern life in a similar fashion
to his 18th century counterparts. The figure in his paintings appear to
overwhelmed by the 'uncanny' in their suburban environments, as Amor gives the
audience a glimpse into his own contemporary world.
Through the accumulation of imagery through studies and the mediation within
composition development, Amor produces paintings that galvanise technical
prowess in the handling of the medium and the concepts relating the system of
viewing that Amor ascribes to in the production of his work. His paintings are
not the chance assembly of differing observations but rather the refinement of
visual and conceptual interpretations.
By Craig Malyon
Questions on the Artist
Rick Amor's paintings relate to personal experiences or observations, his
treatment of the figure demonstrates the artist's ability to capture what is
beyond what is seen, to what is felt and thought.
Discuss in reference to the subjective frame his approach to artmaking.
Outline Amor's approach to painting?
Bill Nuttal says this about Amor's work
"He composes pictures drawing all these elements together to give us a
romantic or visionary composition".
Discuss this statement making reference to one of Amor's work.
What is German Romanticism? Where if any are there any similarities to Amor's
The figure suggests a sense of alienation similar to the American realist
painter at the beginning of the 20th century Edward Hopper. Compare and
contrast one painting by Amor and one by Hopper.
Caspar David Friedrich
Giorgio de Chirico