Erwin Fabian began his training at the School of Art and Craft in Berlin. Escaping Nazi persecution, he fled to London in 1938 where he was interned when war broke out. He was deported to Australia as an ‘enemy alien’ on the Dunera in 1940 and was interned at Hay, Orange and Tatura. On his release in 1942 he served with the Australian Army until war’s end. In 1950 he returned to London and worked mainly as a graphic designer for 12 years before returning to Melbourne.
Until this time Fabian had worked primarily with works on paper, particularly monotype prints. In 1962 he began to make abstract, free-formed metal sculpture from scrap metal, a material he continues to collect and use in his work. His first solo exhibition of assemblage sculpture was held in Sydney in 1965 and he has exhibited regularly since then.
In 2000-2001, a large retrospective exhibition, 'Max und Erwin Fabian: Berlin London Melbourne', was held in the Stadtmuseum Berlin featuring the works of Erwin and his father, the painter Max Fabian (1873-1926).
In 1980 Fabian wrote of Encloure:
The enveloping components of this piece, being cut at right angles, may be evocative of walls, suggestive of seclusion and shutting out. The comparative openness of the structure from one aspect should relieve the weightiness of the enclosing shapes. I aimed at an interplay between the heavy outside and the intersecting more intricate smaller components.
Shown in 1 exhibition
Erwin Fabian (1980), Robin Gibson Gallery, Darlinghurst, 16 Feb 1980–05 Mar 1980