Erwin Fabian creates powerful, challenging and deeply affecting works from the remnants of scrap metal he collects and allows to age on the studio floor. Throughout his refined process of gleaning and rusting, Fabian arranges and rearranges; contemplating texture and shape to transform previously disjointed elements into meaningful organic forms. With a career spanning seven decades, Erwin Fabian is one of the most significant sculptors working in Australia today.
He’s an elder, not because of his age but because of his wisdom.
On Thursday 5 November 2015, Australian Galleries had the pleasure of opening Erwin’s exhibition of new works, ‘Recent Sculpture’; an impressive showcase of sculptures formed from components of welded steel as well as a selection of works in plastic. This exciting exhibition was opened by Professor Sasha Grishin, who spoke of Fabian’s rich life as an artist as well as commemorating the significant occasion of the artist’s 100th birthday.
“He’s one of our great sculptors and not because he’s turning 100,” says Grishin, “He’s an elder, not because of his age but because of his wisdom. His sculptural creations do belong to the grand tradition of humanist sculpture. In other words, they interact with us on a human and emotive level: we come to believe in their existence not only as aesthetic objects, but as metaphors for the human spirit.”
In the freshly renovated gallery space of the Australian Galleries Stock Rooms, Fabian’s works stand proudly with huge presence. Varying in texture, tone and scale each unique piece is inherently linked by Fabian’s distinct visual language, in which disparate, abstract shapes meld together to echo forms from the natural world. Fabian’s remarkable ability to find intrinsic connections between discrete fragments of raw material produces artworks that resonate with emotive power. This exhibition is testament to Erwin Fabian’s unique creative voice and his significant contribution to Australian sculpture.