André Marfaing was born in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) in 1925. After studying law, he became for a few years professor in this field, while begining to paint as a self-taught. He took lessons in sculpture and painting in Toulouse, then, in 1949, left his hometown to settle near Paris (Meudon, Vanves). Over the years, he met Fernand Léger, Estève, Manessier, Bissière, Schneider, Soulages and many other artists, poets and writers.
Until 1953, his painting was figurative: the subjects were then traditional, nature and still lifes, but treated in a more suggestive than descriptive way.
He married in 1953, and the couple moved to Paris. From the early 1950s, André Marfaing participated in the Salon des Jeunes Peintres, des Surindépendants, Salon comparaisons, Salon de Mai, then, from 1954 and regularly, at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles.
Throughout his artistic career, Marfaing will participate in national and international collective events, many of which focus on engraving.
In the mid-1950s, Marfaing definitively evolved into an abstraction akin to lyrical abstraction, energetically gestural and, at first.
The artist’s first solo exhibition will be held at the Galerie Claude Bernard (Paris) in 1958. Marfaing will now regularly exhibit his work, in France and abroad: paintings, collages, lavis, works on paper, engravings, lithographs, illustrations, books illustrations, illustrated books. Gradually, the artist will only use black. “For me, black is the most natural means of expression,” he says.
The art of André Marfaing is profound, the artist questions himself, constantly explores the conflict between shadow and light, between emptiness and fullness, between nothing and being; it is an art of spirituality.
After the death of the artist, in 1987, in his homage, the Ariel Gallery presented a set of large formats, the Galerie Clivages his recent paintings, the Galerie Erval les lavis and the Galerie Biren the engravings. The Salon des Réalités Nouvelles also paid tribute to him by exhibiting six paintings of the artist, six paintings that the artist had painted for his participations in the Salon.
André Marfaing always remained attached to a radical conception of abstraction. His last works are more stripped, these works in which the artist reaches the balance where the tension of the line responds to the stable writing of the volumes.