Painter, printmaker and sculptor Rick Amor is one of Australia's most distinguished senior artists. He was a good friend of the late George Baldessin and three times Archibald Prize winner Clifton Pugh, having lived and worked at Pugh's property, Dunmoochin in Cottles Bridge, Nillumbik during the 1980s and 90s.
George Baldessin (1939-1978) was born in San Biagio di Callalta, in the Veneto in Northern Italy and arrived in Australia ten years later. A printmaker and sculptor he built his bluestone studio at St Andrews (Nillumbik) in 1971 with his partner Tess and the three Hails brothers, Rob, Doug and Don. Made of recycled materials the studio today contains all of George’s equipment including the large press, which he modelled himself with the help of Neil Jeffrey (Enjay Presses).
George won many prizes throughout his career and is represented in many of Australia's public art collections including his famous 'Pears' sculpture in front of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 1975 he represented Australia in the Sao Paulo Biennale, before living and working in Paris until his return to St Andrews in 1977. In 1978 George was killed in a car accident aged 39 years. In 2001 Tess returned to St Andrews to reclaim the run-down studio and reconstitute it as The Baldessin Press & Studio - a printmaking retreat. It operates in George’s memory, so that artists may continue to create, perpetuating the generous spirit of George.
'The Ruin' is one of eight prints in the 'Baldessin & Friends commemorative folio. The folio was conceived by Tess Edwards as a fundraising initiative in celebration of the The Baldessin Press & Studio's fifteen year anniversary, and as a way to honour George Baldessin's memory. The folio is a unique coming together of seven very different and acclaimed artists who are connected by their friendship to the missing eighth member, George Baldessin.
The Baldessin Press & Studio is a not-for-profit organisation created in memory of the late George Baldessin (1939-1978), whose original studio is now open to the public for creative use and as a practical legacy to living artists. The Studio is located in St Andrews, Nillumbik.
Rick Amor has been an ardent supporter of the Baldessin Press & Studio and a great patron of living artists. In 2014 the Press partnered with Amor and the State Library of Victoria to create The Amor Residency at The Baldessin Press & Studio, which is part of the Library's annual fellowship program.
'The Ruin' was based on a plein air painting done by Rick Amor on a trip to Broken Hill in 2001 and reflects on death and the passing of time so eloquently portrayed by the industrial ruins of NSW. In the tradition of a Piranesi, the work emphasises the transience of life and the triumph of time.
Black and white drypoint etching in which a small figure, a traveller; located bottom left, points to a large crumbling edifice (building), a stage like space in the background.
Inscriptions & markings