Esther Erlich

The Female Gaze

23 June — 14 July 2018
Opening: Saturday, 23 June, 5:00 — 7:00 pm


Fox Galleries is proud to present The Female Gaze by Esther Erlich, celebrated for over three decades for her distinctive portraits. The solo will feature paintings on canvas and works on paper, providing a rare opportunity for viewers to compare her approach to the two mediums. Dynamic variances in colour, saturation and line will reveal Erlich’s virtuosic methods for creating sensual and alluring figures.

Evocative of Jeanne Mammen, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, the energy and gaze of Erlich’s subjects are palpable. Framed at an intimate distance, and locking eyes with their viewers, they seem to capture the visual experience of beholding the person you are falling in love with. Demanding attention, these mostly female figures seem to look as closely at us as we do them. Their provocatively beautiful faces and detailed hands are vivid apparitions above abstracted bodies that exist in no space or time.

Erlich invites us to wonder what we can know about another person simply by looking at them. This is the source of her continuous visual enquiry – the human pursuit of identity expression – explored through works she calls “vehicles for narrative”. The artist subtly provokes questions around subjective versus collective experience, the mystery of human emotions and gender politics. But for Erlich, making work is first and foremost about exploring and articulating the imagination.

Esther Erlich has had over 51 solo and 72 group exhibitions since 1983. She won the prestigious Doug Moran Portrait Prize (1998), the People’s Choice Award, Archibald Prize (2000) and has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize and the Portia Geach Memorial Award multiple times. She is represented in both public and private collections nationally and abroad, including the CAE Victoria, Performing Arts Museum, National Portrait Gallery, ALP Building A.C.T., and the National Library Canberra.

Read John McDonald’s feature of The Female Gaze in the Good Weekend





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