Somebody told me, I showed the debris of bourgeois culture - this statement actually grasps the essence of my work (Rudolf Wacker).

Rudolf Wacker (1893-1939) attended the College for Commercial Drawing in Bregenz, Austria. In 1910/11 he studied at the private painting school of Bauer in Vienna and from 1911-14 at the Academy of Art in Weimar under Albin Egger-Lienz and Walter Klemm.

At first a draughtsman and graphic designer, Wacker started painting in 1922 -- after his return from 5 years in Russian captivity in Siberia and a longer stay in Berlin. Because of Erich Heckel and his friends, Wacker had been confronted with expressionism during his time in Berlin. Later Maurice Utrillo strongly influenced the artist who, by the mid-20s, had developed his own style which was to label him a precursor of "Magic Realism".

In 1923/24 the artist lived in Vienna and in 1924 he settled in his hometown Bregenz. He was a founding member of the artists' association "Der Kreis" and was in charge of a nude painting class at the trade school in Bregenz from 1936-38. In 1934, Wacker participated in the Venice Biennale. In 1939, he died from a heart attack after the Gestapo had searched his house several times.

Wacker started his career as a graphic artist in 1920; after spending 5 years in Russian captivity as a prisoner of war, he lived in Berlin where he dedicated himself to Expressionism. In 1922, living in his home town Bregenz, his style changed towards the New Objectivity. Rudolf Wacker was a founding member of the Artists' Association "The Circle." He was a close friend with Swiss painter Adolf Dietrich, another member of the "The Circle."

The painter was openly opposed to the cultural policies of the Nazis. He suffered a heart attack after an interrogation by the Gestapo and died soon afterwards in his parents' house in Bregenz. (
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Suzan Hamer


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