Walt Gonske is known for his luscious, emotion-laden strokes of rich and varied color applied loosely, almost abstractly, to the canvas. He began his career by studying with the late Frank Reilly at the Art Students League in New York City. He enjoyed a successful career as an illustrator of men’s fashions in New York before moving to Taos, New Mexico, in 1972.
Gonske loves taking risks that move him out of any safe territory. “I spent years learning how to reproduce nature on a canvas, and I guess I could spend the rest of my painting life doing that. I might grow a bit more that way,” Gonske said. “Or, I can open myself to change, give up control over the process, get out of the way, and maybe the work will take on a life of its own. By shifting away from what I already know, I allow that unknowable creative spirit to come through.”
At the 2012 Prix de West, Gonske won the Frederic Remington Painting Award for exceptional artistic merit for a painting. The Art of Walt Gonske: A Retrospective
was on exhibition at the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House in Taos, New Mexico, in the fall of 2017 through February 2018. These 40 paintings from Gonske’s personal collection are currently at the Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A public opening and sale is planned for June 23, 2018.