- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
- SP (with hand) 2012–13
2012; reworked 2013 and 2014
- Subsequent Title(s)
- SP (with hand) 2014
- Description of Featured Image
- A head and shoulders self portrait, set against a dark background. Amor, who has a beard and moustache and wears spectacles, looks straight ahead, his proper left hand raised and touching his forehead.
- Where Made
- Alphington, Melbourne
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Drypoint and burnishing on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: White BFK Rives paper with watermark: ‘BFK RIVES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol; buff Somerset paper.
Image size: 197 x 144 mm
Matrix size: 200 x 149 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- RAE.210 (2012, 2013), RAE.213 (2014)
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- All state impressions printed by Rick Amor in his Alphington studio. First and second editions printed by Rosalind Atkins at Kate Herd’s studio, Alphington.
- Summary Edition Information
- Thirteen states. Two editions. First edition: edition of ten numbered impressions, 2013. Second edition: edition of ten numbered impressions, 2014.
- Art Gallery of South Australia 2016–17: Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Rick Amor: Contemporary Romantic, 2 December 2016 – 30 April 2017 [no catalogue].
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: eight state impressions, numbered 1-1 through 1-6, 2-6, 3-6, all dated 2012; eleven state impressions, numbered 1-7 through 4-7, 1-8 through 1-12, 2-12, 3-12, all dated 2013; bon à tirer impression, dated 2013; ed. 2/10, dated 2013; five state impressions, numbered 1-14 through 1-18, all dated 2014; ed. 2/10, dated 2014.
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide: ed. 4/10, dated 2014 (promised gift).
This self portrait was begun in late 2012, soon after Amor returned to Melbourne from a visit to New York. While there, he had seen the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, which included Käthe Kollwitz’s self portrait etching Self portrait with hand at the brow, 1910.
Inspired by the Kollwitz rendering, Amor embarked on the present self portrait and worked on it through to 2014, keeping a record of the dates on which he initiated significant changes to the image. The self portrait is a pure drypoint; the only tools Amor used apart from the drypoint needle were a burnisher and a scraper (he used the latter to prepare the plate for its comprehensive reworking in 2014).
After producing the first four states of the print (2012), Amor took a break, returning to the plate on 28 February of the following year and reworking the image extensively, stripping it of anecdotal details. He removed the background of books (a detail based on the large bookshelf that lines an entire wall in Amor’s house) because it ‘seemed too obvious’, and replaced it with a dark, unspecific background (state V). On 25 May 2013, he reworked the plate again, and took it through another five states (states VI through X) before having the print editioned for the first time.
Other radical changes to the image were made after the first edition was published. Sometime after 28 April 2014, Amor returned to the plate; he altered the position of the hand and fingers and lengthened the head, making it occupy a greater amount of space and thus appear closer to the viewer. Finally, he shrouded the clothing in darkness. The focus was now entirely on the face and on the artist’s large left hand.
There are no preparatory studies for the various renderings of this work; as with other Amor self portrait etchings, this one was begun in front of a mirror and scored directly onto the copper plate.
- Käthe Kollwitz, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Self portrait
Record last updated 20/09/2017