Donald Baechler

Biography of Donald Baechler

In the 1980s Donald Baechler achieved stunning success as a young artist with his distinctive Pop Art style that mixed confident color choices with lively images. Making use of childhood imagery, juvenile drawings, and found paper scraps, Baechler's works combine painting, collage, and drawing, delighting in using overly-familiar motifs. An obsessive collector of visual imagery, Baechler hoards depictions of toys, maps, and magazine cuttings to use as source material for his compositions. His works explore pop culture with a naïve playfulness while at the same time making mature references to the work of modern masters.


Born to Quaker parents in 1956, Donald Baechler would doodle compulsively as a child. He studied at the Maryland Institute of Art and subsequently in Frankfurt, Germany. Baechler was then snapped up by Tony Shafrazi the famous New York dealer who first recognized the extraordinary talents of Jean-Michael Basquiat and Keith Haring in the 80s. Occasionally confused as being part of the "graffiti art", Baechler saw himself as an abstract and Neo-expressionist artist more focused on formalist concerns of "line, form, balance, and the edge of the canvas."


Taking inspiration from photographs that he records on slides in his Lower Manhattan studio, Donald Baechler needs to collect and adjudicate a great deal so as to "get to the point of what's important." Many critics have identified Baechler's unique appeal as stemming from his ability to penetrate into that space between childhood and adulthood—an individual on the cusp of self-consciousness. Baechler is in the permanent collections of MoMA in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. A talented etcher, Baechler's limited editions and multiples reflect his natural and distinct art practice. 

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