Bloom, 2010, steel 246 x 129 x 117 cm
Erwin Fabian is one of Australia’s most senior living sculptors, having just celebrated his centenary birthday in November last year. Born in Berlin in 1915, Fabian is the son of the German painter Max Fabian. When the Second World War broke out in Europe, Fabian was arrested as an enemy alien and shipped to Australia onboard the HMT Dunera. He was initially held in internment camps in Victoria. Following his release he practised as a print maker and painter, and returned to England during the 1950s as a graphic designer to lecture at the London School of Printing. In 1962, he resettled in Melbourne and had his first sculpture exhibition at the Hungry Horse Gallery in Sydney.
For Fabian, whose career has spanned more than fifty years, scrap metal has been the dominant material in his sculptural collages. His ability to transform harsh and rusted objects into an expressive and versatile artwork is remarkable. His wisdom and accumulated experience, that has endured upheaval throughout the war and migration is reflected in the underlying humanist qualities of his sculptures.
Even at 100 years old, Fabian’s creative vitality remains undiminished. The four sculptures in this exhibition are among many he has produced over the last eight years.
His work is held internationally in the British Museum, London, Deutsches Historisches Musuem, Berlin, as well as the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the Australian War Museum, most state galleries as well as several university and regional galleries.
Erwin Fabian is represented by Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney.