Rudolf Wacker was born on February 25, 1893 in Bregenz. He completed his apprenticeship at the "Kaiserlich-Königliches Fachschule für gewerbliche Zeichnen" at the Malschule Bauer in Vienna and finally studied at the drawing school in Weimar. In 1914 he was called up to serve for the military service, the experience of the war marked Rudolf Wacker and is noticeable in his future work. After his homecoming, he first moved to Berlin, Wacker, who was impressed by the new revolutionary understanding of art, temporarily joined Erich Heckel and his circle. The Tyrolean painter Albin Egger-Lienz, as well as the well-known illustrator and graphic artist Walter Klemm, were his teachers. Rudolf Wacker, together with other artists from the Bodenseeregion, founded the artist group "Der Kreis".
From the early 1920s onwards, elements of the New Objectivity were visible in Wackers' works. Today the artist is regarded as the forerunner of magic or fantastic realism. The artist created a connection between reality and fiction within his paintings which made them magical and fantastic. He combined tangible and visible everyday objects with dreamlike visions and thereby used a balanced color. Rudolf Wacker is one of the most important Austrian representatives of New Objectivity. In 1934 Wacker attended the Venice Biennial. His works also enjoy a high reputation outside Austria. Rudolf Wacker died on the 19th of April 1939 in Bregenz.