Chris Gwaltney’s work might be thought of as poetry as opposed to prose. He builds and sketches on the canvas, taking away what is unnecessary, paring down and crystallizing the visual language. In that way, and in his interest in color relations, he might be compared to Milton Avery, although he is more likely to site artists like Diebenkorn, Oliveira and Joan Mitchell, with a nod to Cy Twombly for his mark-making.
For Gwaltney, the figure is expressed as a gesture, a presence simply articulated with line and stroke, often seen as walking alone or in relation to one or more figures. He begins with making smears or marks on the canvas. Gwaltney once said, “some paintings are a conversation, others are an argument.” Through the process of painting, he sets up situations that seek resolution in the work. In the end, the work becomes “a testament to time well spent.”
Born in Van Nuys, California Gwaltney began painting full time after an injury restricted him to crutches for a year and a half at the age of 23. He received his BA and Masters from the University of California State Fullerton. Gwaltney has enjoyed an exhibition career with no lapses, showing with Diane Nelson Fine Art, Peter Blake Gallery, Robert Green Fine Arts, Julie Nester in Park City and Tria Gallery in New York.