Baechler was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1956 and came of age as a painter in the early 1980s when he began exhibiting internationally. Baechler is called one of the important painters of his generation. He has amassed a great inventory of worldly images. Recorded on slides and collected in the archives of his enormous Lower Manhattan studio, they are the sources for many of the compelling images in his paintings. The cast of characters, which also includes himself, come from every source imaginable, and are stamped, silk-screened, projected, drawn, painted, printed or collaged onto surfaces. Then the process begins: underpainting, overpainting, canceling, adding, subtracting, editing until the final work emerges.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris.