Born in Rustenburg in 1960, Oltmann has a BA Fine Arts from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (1981) and an MA Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand (1985), where he has lectured since 1989. He won the Standard Bank Young Artist award in 2001.
As one of South Africa’s foremost and intriguing artists, Walter Oltmann is most widely known for his outstanding wire sculptures. His weaving employs brass wire, aluminium, copper and other threaded material such as rope. He is also recognised for his drawings and prints.