Hans Reichel was a German painter and draughtsman who, along with Paul Klee and Otto Nebelzusammen, is considered one of the most important representatives of lyrical abstraction. After school and artistic training (attendance of Hans Hoffmann's painting school) Reichel went to Munich in 1918. There he met Rainer Maria Rilke and Paul Klee, among others, with whom he lived in the same house, the Werneck-Schlössl. The contact to Klee did not break off and so Reichel got to know Wassily Kandinsky in Weimar through Klee.
After travelling to Switzerland and Italy together with his painter friend, the American Carl Holly, he moved to Paris in 1929. He met Brassaï, Alfred Perlès and Henry Miller, to whom he gave painting lessons in watercolour technique, life-saving therapy for Miller. Later he became friends with the Austrian surrealist Wolfgang Paalen, of whom he painted a portrait.
His style is characterized by playfulness, they are dream scenes. The small-format pictures sometimes remind one of Paul Klee in their fairy-tale like, filigree depictions. Even after the war years of 1941-43, during which Reichel survived in the Gurs camp and, from March 1943 onwards, hidden in Begué near Cazaubon, Gers department, in the south of France, he stuck to playful images from his world of thought. They are not really abstract, but neither are they concrete. His work is attributed to the Nouvelle École de Paris.
Reichel's works were exhibited in galleries in Paris and New York, a first larger show of his work took place in Kaiserslautern in 1955. He died in Paris in 1958.