Esther Erlich

An Intimate Distance

26 September – 9 December 2020

Fox Galleries presents An Intimate Distance; an empowering series of King Princess portraits by Esther Erlich. This is the third launch in the Modern Seasons, the great curve publication and exhibition series, demarcating the changing atmosphere of Spring in 2020.

Erlich is best known for her provocative portraits that enhance intimacy through fashion aesthetics and subculture iconography. The collection of paintings and drawings depict half- figures, indeterminate hyper-gendered superheros with staring eyes exploding into abstraction. They are a flurry of dazzling, self-assured characters.

“I’ve always been interested in painting the faces of fashion and have therefore been conscious of how they present themselves. This necessarily includes coiffure, clothing, accessories, make-up, and footwear. In this body of work, it is the facade that most fascinates me. Admittedly the more courageous and audacious the fashion, the more inspired I become. It excites me to paint not only the possibilities of these guises but to also expose something of the internal make-up and psyche of those who fashion themselves in such ways.

Through observation, – and of late the strong influence of contemporary cinema, particularly in the genre of fantasy, – my diverse cast of women have taken on superpowers. The more I delve into imaginative fashion trends, the more I come to realize that even the most fantastic disguises can and do cross over into mainstream, and that society is tending to lose its inhibitions. “


2000 People’s Choice Award, Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales; George Adams Gallery, Melbourne and Regional galleries tour
1998 Winner, Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Moran Arts Foundation, Sydney


2018 Finalist, Portia Geach Memorial Award, S.H Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2018 Finalist, Percival Portrait Painting Prize, Townsville City, QLD
2017 Finalist, Portia Geach Award, National Trust S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2017 Semi Finalist, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Moran Arts Foundation, Sydney
2016 Finalist, Kilgour Prize, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
2016 Finalist, Paul Guest Drawing Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo VIC
2016 Finalist, Percival Portrait Painting Prize, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, QLD


2019 Esther Erlich: AUDACIOUS, Fox Galleries, Melbourne
2018 Esther Erlich: The Female Gaze, Fox Galleries, Melbourne
2016 Esther Erlich: New Work, Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney
2015 Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney
2014 Invisible, Libby Edwards Galleries, Melbourne
2013 Perth Concert Hall in conjunction with Gadfly Gallery, Perth
2012 Rapscallions, Libby Edwards Galleries, Melbourne


2017 Pop Up Show, Libby Edwards Galleries, Melbourne
2016 Trailblazing Women, The Global Women’s Project, Neospace Gallery
2015 Pain/ting, Open Walls Gallery, Berlin
2014 Panter and Hall, London, UK
2014 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, The Croydon Centre for Art, Design & Technology, Sydney

Full CV