Hans Staudacher was born at St. Urban on Lake Ossiach, Austria, on 14 January 1923. Since his family was poor, Staudacher had to teach himself drawing, doing landscapes in watercolours and portraits from an early age. Moving to Vienna in 1950, he studied the works of Alfred Kubin, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
Staudacher joined the Viennese Secession and showed work at Secession exhibitions. Although Staudacher initially painted in grey and black in small formats, they were soon replaced in Vienna by coloured paintings on a much larger scale revealing the distinctive semiotic language of Informel. In 1951 Hans Staudacher painted his first tachist works in acrylic resin. As frequent visitor to Paris between 1954 and 1962, Staudacher had the opportunity of closely studying George Mathieu's work and 'lettrisme', the linkage of image and script.
These influences and observations would continue to shape Staudacher's work. In 1956 Staudacher represented Austria with eight pictures at the 28th Venice Biennale. From the early 1960s Staudacher developed a consistent approach to abstract painting centring on the spontaneous gesture. Hans Staudacher was officially designated professor in 1976. Since the early postwar years, Hans Staudacher has been regarded as a leading Austrian exponent of Gestural painting.
Lyric Informel is linked with Abstract Expressionism in Staudacher's work to result in a unique, highly personal signature unparalleled in Austria. The numerous awards Hans Staudacher has received include the Main Prize at the 1965 Tokyo Biennale, the Culture Prize of the Province of Carinthia in 1989 and the Gold Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna in 2004. Staudacher's work has been shown publicly in Austria and abroad, at the 1975 São Paulo Biennale and the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art in 1994.
Work by Hans Staudacher is owned by the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, the Cincinnati Museum of Art and numerous other public and private collections in Austria and abroad.