The catalogue is designed in a two-column format.
For each print in the catalogue, the column on the right contains all essential information, except for detailed descriptions of states and editions.
The column on the left contains images of states, and is also the point of access to detailed descriptions of all states and editions.
When a catalogue entry is opened, the ‘Featured Image’ will appear in the column at left. This image generally shows the final state of the print, or an edition impression, or, in those cases where the print has been reworked and retitled at a later date, the final state of the initial version.
Below the Featured Image are thumbnails of all imaged states of the print. Not all states are illustrated. Those that are imaged record significant changes to the matrix, exhibit the effects of differential wipings of the plate, or have been worked or annotated by hand.
A red border around a thumbnail indicates that it corresponds to the larger image above it. Double-clicking on any thumbnail will cause a corresponding larger image to appear above, while a description of the state represented by this image will appear below.
Clicking on a large image will take the reader to a new window, where the image is shown further enlarged, and with a brief caption, against a black background. Arrows to the left and right of the image allow the reader to click through all of the illustrated states in sequence; they can also be viewed individually.
Detailed information on states and editions
Detailed information on states and editions is accessed by clicking on the ‘View Description for all States’ bar. The page that then opens provides descriptions of all states, information on individual impressions within the states, and details of editions. For the convenience of the reader, the overall commentary on the print (the ‘Comment’), which is found on the main page of the catalogue entry, is repeated following the information on states and editions.
Guide to information fields in the entries
Each catalogue number includes a letter prefix, followed by a full stop; for Rick Amor’s intaglio prints, the letter prefix is ‘E’. (‘I’, for ‘Intaglio’, was rejected because of the potential for confusion with the number ‘1’ or the Roman numeral ‘I’.) When Amor’s relief prints and lithographs are catalogued, their catalogue numbers will have the prefixes ‘R’ and ‘L’, respectively.
It is important to note that a catalogue number is defined, effectively, by the first working of a matrix. A matrix may be worked on at various times, sometimes across many years. When Amor has worked on a plate at different dates, the various reworkings are dated, described and differentiated in the account of states, but the catalogue number remains the same for all.
The exception is those cases where Amor not only reworked a plate at a later date but also retitled his print at that time – thus indicating that he regarded the later reworking as the creation of a new work. In these instances, the primary catalogue number has been retained, because the different versions of the print have been made on the same matrix, but the retitled work has been given a differentiating sub-number. For example, Arthurs Creek, 1991–92 (cat. no. E.058), was reworked in 2014, and retitled Strathewen; consequently, the catalogue number for Strathewen becomes E.058.1.
Titles are those authorized by the artist and, accordingly, they may sometimes vary from those inscribed on individual impressions of a print. Generally, however, inscribed titles have been adopted in the catalogue. For prints whose state impressions carry one title and edition impressions another, the title used for the edition has been accepted as the primary one and has been adopted.
The date provided for a print in the first instance refers to the earliest date inscribed on any impression of that work (or to the earliest date recorded for that work in Rick Amor’s intaglio record books). Amor regularly printed his etchings after the date at which they were originally made, and in such cases the dates of printing are recorded as part of the descriptions of individual impressions.
When the artist worked on a print continuously over a period extending from one year into the next, the date for the work is cited in the following format: ‘1989–90’.
If, on the other hand, work on the matrix took place in two or more distinct phases, in different years, the word ‘reworked’ is included with the date. Thus, for example, a date might take the form ‘1989–90; reworked 1998 and 2000’.
On occasion, in the case of an undated work, a date will be supplied within parentheses. This treatment indicates that the date is known, even though there is no documentary evidence for it.
Occasionally, when reworking a matrix, Amor changed the title of a print, thereby indicating that he regarded the reworking of the matrix as the creation of a new work. In such cases, the catalogue includes a separate page of information specific to the retitled print. This can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink below the heading ‘Subsequent Title(s)’. (See also notes relating to catalogue numbers, above.)
The inclusion or omission of the definite article in a title has not been considered significant enough to warrant a work’s being considered as retitled; however, the addition of a numeral to a title, designating a later version, has.
This field, found at the same location as the ‘Subsequent Title(s)’ field, provides a series or book title whenever the catalogued print forms part of a series or an artist’s book. In such cases, further detail may appear in a field headed ‘Series/Illustration Number’.
Description of Featured Image
This field provides a brief description of the ‘Featured Image’ – the large image that appears in the left column when a catalogue entry is first opened.
This field lists the place or places where Amor worked on the matrix for a print. Except for when he worked outside Australia, his studios have been either in rural areas just outside Melbourne or in suburban Melbourne; Melbourne suburbs are identified as such.
Medium Category and Technique
The term ‘medium category’ refers to the general designation for a print (e.g. intaglio print, relief print, or lithograph), while ‘technique’ refers to the particular techniques used in its making (etching, drypoint, etc.). Techniques are listed in the order in which they were used by the artist.
Please note: Burnishing is included as a technique when it has been used to create or refine details in an image, but not when it has been employed as an erasing tool.
The information in this field begins with a general identification of the type of paper used for the catalogued print (i.e. laid or wove). A list of identified papers follows, with descriptions of watermarks included wherever applicable. (The catalogue pages that carry detailed descriptions of states and editions include mention of the presence of watermarks as part of the information provided for individual impressions; however, to minimize repetition, watermarks are described in full only in the ‘Support’ field.)
Rick Amor did not always keep a record of the papers he used. Their identification is therefore usually dependent on the presence of watermarks or on documentation provided by printers. No attempt has been made to determine the identity of papers that do not carry watermarks, except in those cases where a paper with no watermark can be matched precisely to a paper with a watermark.
Papers are white or off-white unless otherwise noted. For the sake of clarity, however, a paper will be identified as white or off-white when other papers used for impressions of the same print are of different colours.
Dimensions are cited in millimetres, with height preceding width. Image dimensions are recorded first, followed by matrix dimensions (unless the matrix has not survived). In the case of intaglio prints, image dimensions equal the dimensions of the plate mark (i.e. those of the matrix), although there may be some variation from impression to impression, due to the shrinkage of paper after printing.
Sheet dimensions are not given in the ‘Dimensions’ field, since they usually vary, except in the printing of an edition; accordingly, sheet dimensions are provided as part of the edition information recorded, in each catalogue entry, on the page carrying detailed descriptions of states and editions.
Artist’s Record Number
Rick Amor began keeping a numbered chronological record of his intaglio prints in 1988 and a similar record of his relief prints in 1989, with both listings beginning with the number ‘1’. In this catalogue, entries in the artist’s intaglio record books take the following format: the prefix ‘RAE’ (for ‘Rick Amor Etchings’), followed by a print’s entry number in the record books. An example would be ‘RAE.53’.
If, in the process of reworking a plate, Amor created a new entry for it in his records, the ‘Artist’s Record Number’ field will show a second RAE number (with date), following the first.
A small number of the artist’s intaglio prints are not recorded in his notebooks; in the catalogue, these works have been assigned the prefix ‘EX.’ (for ‘Etching Excluded’), with this designation followed by a sequential number.
Please note: The sequence of RAE numbers in the catalogue omits ‘RAE.73’, as the work listed as number 73 in Amor’s intaglio record books was destroyed by the artist.
Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
Rick Amor has almost always proofed (i.e. printed the state impressions of) his intaglio prints in his own studio. Until he was able to afford to have others edition his prints, he also printed his editions himself. Since the early 1990s, however, he has frequently had his editions printed by professional printers, who, in most cases, are artists in their own right.
Editions printed by Amor are almost always variable in their inking and wiping, and they have often not been printed in their entirety. Editions printed by professional printers are always printed in their entirety, and the impressions within these editions are uniform in appearance.
Information about printers and places of printing is also included, in each catalogue entry, on the page that carries detailed descriptions of states and editions.
Summary Edition Information
This field records, in concise form, the total number of states through which the catalogued print was worked, and the size and date of any edition/s printed. If no edition was printed, this is stated.
This field lists, in chronological order, exhibitions in which the catalogued print was included. When a print has not been exhibited, this field is omitted.
Key references to the catalogued print – in books (including exhibition catalogues) and journals and on museum websites – are listed here, in chronological order. This field also records references to works that are closely related to the catalogued print. When there are no key references to a print in the literature, this field is omitted.
This field records impressions of the catalogued print that are held in public collections.
The State Library of Victoria is the repository collection of Amor’s prints and therefore is always listed first. Other collections are then listed in alphabetical order.
For each impression in a particular collection, the following information is provided: the status and numbering of the impression (e.g. ‘state impression, numbered 1’ or ‘AP I’), or its edition number (e.g. ‘2/10’); and the institution’s accession number for the work, in parentheses. Other key information relating to individual impressions may also be included (e.g. ‘with plate tone’). An example of an entry in the ‘Collections’ field would be ‘British Museum, London: APW presentation proof (2009,7048.6)’.
Please note: In the case of the State Library of Victoria’s large collection, accession numbers have not yet been allocated. Similarly, many of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s impressions had not been given accession numbers at the time this catalogue was launched, and are therefore listed as ‘promised gifts’.
The ‘Comment’ contains information about the subject of the catalogued print, and, where relevant, related works in other media. This field may also include remarks about the development of an image through its states, and the technique or techniques used by the artist.
Rick Amor repeats subjects and motifs across all the media he works in – prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture – and, when working with a particular theme, he will often produce a large number of closely related works. For this reason, the Comment’s discussion of works relating to a specific print should not be regarded as absolutely comprehensive.
Any text within a catalogue entry that appears in red and is underlined is a hyperlink. Clicking on a hyperlink will take the reader to relevant additional information and images.
The following relates to the fields found on the page accessible via the ‘View Description for All States’ bar.
Each state of a print is identified by an upper-case roman numeral, followed by details of the state’s place in the overall sequence of making (e.g. ‘II. 2nd state of 6’). A date of making will be included when a print has been worked on at different dates (e.g. ‘III. 3rd state of 9, 1994’).
A description of the state follows. The description of the first state of a print begins with an identification of the technique used, with this being followed by a brief description of the image. If there is more than one impression of a state, this is noted.
Subsequent paragraphs provide information on the individual impressions within the state (when there are multiple impressions, each is allocated a lower-case letter). The paper on which each impression is printed is identified, as is the printer, and all inscriptions on the impression are recorded (see below). When an impression has been printed in a distinctive manner, this has been noted (e.g. ‘Selectively wiped impression on wove paper …’).
Please note: When a state includes a large number of variant impressions, none of which differ markedly from the others, information on individual impressions has been provided in summary form.
Inscriptions are in black pencil, and in the artist’s hand, except where otherwise noted.
With rare exceptions, Amor inscribes his prints below the image or the plate mark, and in the following manner: lower left: the print’s edition number, state number, or other designation; lower centre: the title of the work; lower right: the artist’s signature, followed by the date of the work.
Edition numbers are inscribed in the accepted way (e.g. ‘2/10’) (but see ‘Editions’, below, for discussion of partial editions).
With some exceptions, a state number is indicated with an arabic numeral, which is usually fully or partially circled. When the artist’s numbering system varies in any significant way from that used in the catalogue, a note about numbering follows the inscription details for the impressions involved. (This can occur, for example, when an impression is inscribed by the artist as being a new, separate state, but is in reality a variant impression of the previous state.)
Information about editions includes: edition size; a brief identification of the paper support; the name of the printer; the place of printing; inscriptions; and sheet dimensions. Any proofs printed as part of the edition will also be listed.
When printing his own plates, especially in the early years, Amor occasionally assigned an edition number without printing an entire edition. (This practice – not uncommon among printmakers of Amor’s generation in Melbourne – arose from the need to economize with materials.) In such cases, the artist noted in his intaglio record books the total number of impressions printed.
Partial editions are identified in the catalogue as ‘nominal editions’ and are mentioned together with the number of impressions actually printed (e.g. ‘Nominal edition of ten, but only four impressions were printed and numbered’).
The phrase ‘status of impression’, when used in the context of an edition, refers to those impressions that may be part of the edition but are not numbered (e.g. artist’s proofs, bon à tirer (BAT) impressions, hors commerce (HC) impressions).