Hubbuch was born in Karlsruhe, Germany. He studied art in Karlsruhe and Berlin, where he met the artist George Grosz. Hubbuch taught lithography at Karlsruhe Academy from 1924, becoming a professor there in 1928. From 1933 to 1945 Hubbuch was forbidden by the Nazis to teach art or practice as an artist and earned his living by painting ceramics and cuckoo clocks. As an artist, he was particularly drawn to depicting, with merciless honesty and detail, street scenes and the theatre. Hubbuch shared this fascination for the everyday world with several other German artists of the period; this movement is known as Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity).