- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
- The dog
1991; reworked 1999 and 2002
- Description of Featured Image
- Standing at the end of a pier amid stormy seas is a dog facing left, his front right paw raised. Below him are wooden steps leading into the water.
- Where Made
- Dunmoochin, Cottles Bridge. Alphington, Melbourne
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Etching, burnishing and scraper on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: White and cream BFK Rives papers with watermarks: ‘BFK RIVES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol; white Arches paper with watermark: ‘ARCHES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol; white Magnani 3030 310 gsm paper with watermark: Romanesque ‘M’ with cross above. Other papers mentioned in notes on this work in Amor’s intaglio record books: cream Stonehenge paper.
Image size: 197 x 295 mm
Matrix size: 201 x 300 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- RAE.31 (1991), RAE.130 (1999), RAE.150 (2002)
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- States I through VIII, and first edition, printed by Rick Amor in his Dunmoochin studio, Cottles Bridge. State IX, and second edition, printed by Martin King at the Australian Print Workshop, Fitzroy (Melbourne). State X, and third edition, printed by Doug Hails at the Baldessin Press, St Andrews.
- Summary Edition Information
- Ten states. Three editions. First edition: edition of ten numbered impressions, 1991. Second edition: edition of ten numbered impressions, 1999. Third edition: edition of ten numbered impressions, 2002.
- Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria 1993–94: Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria, Melbourne, Rick Amor & the Graphic Arts, Victorian and Tasmanian tour, 1993–94, no. 41 (1991 edition).
- Niagara Galleries at IWOP 1997: Niagara Galleries at the International Works on Paper Fair, Mitchell Galleries, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, 17–20 July 1997, no. 21f (1991 edition).
- Gary Catalano, ‘The Poetry of Place: An Interview with Rick Amor’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 49, May 1992, pp. 2–6.
- For an illustration of the painting The dog, 1989, see Linda Short (ed.), Rick Amor: A Single Mind (exh. cat.), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Victoria, 2008, p. 29.
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: twenty state impressions, numbered 1 through 20, all dated 1991; ed. 8/10, dated 1991; bon à tirer impression, dated 1999; printer’s proof 1/1, dated 2002.
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide: ed. 3/10, dated 2002 (20155G148).
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra: APW workshop proof 2/2, dated 1999 (2002.431.590).
This etching is based on an earlier painting by Amor, The dog, 1989 (Short 2008). The motif of the dog in the painting is, in turn, based on a photograph by Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904) of his dog, Dread, taken as part of Muybridge’s investigations into animal locomotion. For Amor, however, the dog is not a creature of scientific interest but an animal avatar, who stands in for the silent, watchful observer.
As Amor explains:
It [the motif of the dog] probably goes back to seeing Francis Bacon’s work. He did a wonderful picture of a dog based on Muybridge’s photographs. I was doing dogs before seeing it but in a minor way.
I see the dog as being a figure of endurance. It watches things and things happen to it, but it cannot alter its fate. Yes … sort of dumb fate. It’s hard to put into words because it’s a visual thing with me. (Quoted in Catalano 1992, p. 5)
In the year before he made this etching, Amor was invited by Grazia Gunn of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (ACCA), to prepare an exhibition as part of a series titled The ACCA Wallpapers, which called for mural-sized drawings to be made on huge sheets of paper. The motifs of the dog, the runner and the sea all featured in Amor’s exhibition, which was acclaimed for its emotional power. The dog in the artist’s charcoal mural was different from the one that appears in E.037; however, its symbolic potency prefigured that of Amor’s later representations of the animal. A dog is also depicted in two relief prints of the period, albeit in different poses.
Amor took the present etching through eight states, and many variant printings, before editioning it in 1991. There are no fewer than seven impressions of the fifth state, the seventh impression being extensively worked over, in pen and ink, with indications for major adjustments to be made to the plate. These changes were implemented in the sixth state, when the plate was re-etched, resulting in a darker image overall.
In 1999, some eight years after printing the first edition of E.037, Amor returned to this work, clarifying the outline of the dog’s muzzle by burnishing around it; he then had a second edition printed, at the Australian Print Workshop. In 2002, he fine-tuned the muzzle area again with the burnisher before the third and final edition was printed, at the Baldessin Press.
- Dog, Pier, Sea, Stormy sea
Record last updated 15/02/2021