Donald Baechler (b. 1956) studied at the Maryland College of Art (1974-1976), attended Cooper Union in New York (1977-1978), and Frankfurt's Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Künste (1978-1979). He has exhibited his paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture internationally since having his first one-person show at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1977. Baechler's work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibition (1980) as well as the Corcoran Gallery of Art's 43rd Biennial Exhibitions of Contemporary American Painting (1994).
Baechler places crudely rendered line drawings of men, women, body parts, vegetables or flowers against richly built up backgrounds of paint, pentimenti and collaged sheets of paper. Like Jean Dubuffet's l'art brut, Baechler is inspired by the immediacy and spontaneity of the untrained artist: the art of the insane, children's schoolwork, and graffiti. But while his interest in tapping the subconscious urges through odd juxtapositions of seemingly unrelated images or objects link him to the Surrealists tradition, his interest in painterly, textured surfaces is closer in spirit to abstract artists such as Cy Twombly or Robert Ryman. Bypassing the compressed flatness that is a natural result of the printing process, his collage-based layering processes translate well into a wide variety of print media.