Dunera Boy still working in steel…at 101

May 8, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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Former Dunera Boy, abstract sculptor Erwin Fabian, continues to work his magic with steel.  Seven of his large metal sculptures have been unveiled at an exhibition in Sydney. 

Erwin Fabian

“I have worked with Erwin for four decades and he is a great artist producing remarkable work” said gallery owner Robin Gibson.

While not dwelling on his age – he will be 102 this year – the artist admitted that 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.

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.

Circumvolution 85×54×50cm steel

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.

The sculptor believes that all life experiences contribute to his works which are held in many collections including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra and Australian War Museum, Canberra.

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

Describing his present sculptural work fashioned from scrap metal, Sasha Grishin, The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History at Australian National University has said

“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.”

The works will be showing at the Robin Gibson Gallery until 24 May.


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