Hans Reichel Germany, 1892-1958


From the early age of 16, Hans Reichel (b. 1892, Würzburg, Germany; d. 1958, Paris, France) was socially and professionally active within the buzzing avant-garde scene of 1920s Germany. Reichel began his painting practice during his teenage years, inspired by the revolutionary atmosphere–artistic and social–taking hold across Europe. During his visits to Café Stéfanie, the iconic coffeehouse turned artist hub in Munich, Reichel met poet Rainer Maria Rilke and artist Paul Klee, both of whom would have a tremendous influence on his practice. Reichel and Klee both worked out of studios at Castle Werneck in Munich and it was there that they exchanged ideas and developed a deep friendship based on a mutual interest in the intersection of painting and music. In 1924, Reichel met Wassily Kandinsky and Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Unlike Klee and Kandinsky, Reichel’s compositions are based in poeticism rather than academic or scientific theory. In 1929, Reichel moved to Paris and became close with Hungarian-French photographer Brassaï and American writer Henry Miller. After being interned during the Second World War, Reichel returned to Paris in 1944, where he continued his artistic practice until the last years of his life. Reichel’s work can be found in major museum collections including Kunsthaus Zürich; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris and Sprengel Museum, Hannover, among others.