99 -yr-old Dunera Boy planning 2017 exhibition

June 22, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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When 99-yr-old abstract sculptor Erwin Fabian finished the pieces for his current Sydney exhibition he started working on pieces for his exhibition in 2017.

Fabian admits it is the creation of his art and working in his North Melbourne studio that keeps him going and there is always going to be another piece of metal to be coaxed into shape.

Erwin Fabian

Erwin Fabian

Acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading sculptors, he was born in Berlin, son of painter Max Fabian. Before leaving Germany in 1938 for London, he trained at the School of Art and Craft in Berlin.

Interned in London as an enemy alien, he arrived in Australia on the infamous ship Dunera in 1940 and was sent to Hay, NSW. He stayed on in Australia after the war as a working artist.

Fabian told J-Wire that he is now one of the few surviving “Dunera Boys” and is still close friends with a fellow survivor, a painter, who lives in London.

The sculptor believes that all life experiences contribute to his work. He was doing graphic work at that time of his life and went onto three-dimensional work later in the 1960s.

enigmaReturning to London, he worked as a designer and lecturer at the London School of Printing before permanently basing himself in Melbourne in 1962.

His work is held in many collections including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra and the  Australian War Museum, Canberra.  The Jewish Museum in Berlin has some of his works and his fathers.

Erwin Fabian has produced work in other mediums, including printmaking, drawing and, painting.

Describing his present sculptural work, Sasha Grishin, The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History at Australian National University says

“He works predominantly with different types of scrap metal and these materials he transforms into a new natural order. His work with time has grown in intensity, refinement and in its distilled beauty.”

Gallery owner Robin Gibson told J-Wire that when the pieces for the present show arrived, it took five men to lift the largest up the gallery steps and  was so large it had to be left at the entrance.

“It is so heavy that one can only wonder how any man could assemble such a large piece” said Gibson.

Erwin Fabian is currently part of an exhibition at the Robin Gibson Gallery in Sydney until June 24.



2 Responses to “99 -yr-old Dunera Boy planning 2017 exhibition”
  1. Brian Wimborne says:

    I think you mean he was interned in London, not ‘interred’!

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