Walter Knabe is an American multi-disciplinary fine artist. As a painter and silk screen printer, Knabe’s work is versatile and includes original paintings and limited-edition artwork, fabrics, wall coverings, exclusive lifestyle/home decor and licensed designs.
Over the past forty years, Walter Knabe has been a trusted resource for high profile clients, corporations and design firms around the globe who covet his work. All projects are created out of his studio in Indianapolis, Indiana. Walter’s broad and varied experience includes projects such as being the official artist of the Indianapolis 500, licensed collections for Fieldcrest and Hallmark companies and custom design work for Harrod’s department store in London. All applications of Walter's work stem from his fine art practice.
Walter’s signature style is inspired by a sense of antiquity in a contemporary setting. Layering a collision of colors, elements and imagery, he blends new and old in a bold, narrative combination. His soulful approach merges past, present and future in a lyrical and sophisticated, yet earthy manner. Walter’s intent is to create a visual connection that enables people to take away something hopeful, positive and uplifting that is very personal to them, yet universal to all.
It all began in a high school art class, where Walter Knabe found passion for art as a young teenager. He had an epiphany when his teacher brought in a college professor to speak about contemporary art. He showed the students the works of Picasso, Matisse and Jackson Pollack. Walter could not believe “this was artwork”. He was completely captivated and began creating some abstract paintings the next day. He eventually was offered a full scholarship at Columbia College in Missouri and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He then obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin. Walter never looked back.
His early projects included working with American art icon, Thomas Hart Benton, on one of his last murals in Joplin, Missouri. After graduate school Walter moved to New York City and “hit the pavement”. He opened his first painting studio in Brooklyn in 1982 and was commissioned to cover the walls of a prominent upper East Side apartment with his with his heavily patterned fine art paintings. Walter’s paintings eventually expanded into full-scale, hand-printed custom textiles that included wall coverings and fabrics.
Walter had acquired a national reputation and was shipping his work throughout New York and across the country. After realizing he could work from anywhere, he and his family decided to move to Indianapolis, IN (his wife’s hometown) to raise their children. His studio has been located there ever since.
When creating, Walter envisions the world he would like to live in. His inspiration comes about by daydreaming – the thing he was told not to do as a kid. This is something he really enjoys!
“My fondest hope is that people who experience my work will leave remaining hopeful, motivated and reaffirmed about the positive aspects of life. I always strive to create a visual that enables people to take away something positive and uplifting that is personal to them, yet universal to all,” says Knabe.
His design practice has evolved over the years and continues to expand to include custom hand printed and machine printed wall coverings and fabrics as well as unique home and lifestyle products available in his specialty boutique.
Walter Knabe specializes in painting and printmaking. For many years, he has been a trusted resource of timeless art and design and is known for his meticulous attention to detail. His studio houses a gallery for his artwork and showroom for his wall coverings, fabrics and home and lifestyle collection, as well as Walter’s personal painting studio.
View Walter Knabe’s full Curriculum Vitae.Walter's CV