André Marfaing was born on December 11, 1925 in Toulouse, where he lived until the age of 24. First working as a lawyer, Marfaing moved to Paris in 1949 to devote himself to painting. His many interactions during the 1950s with other artists such as Borès, Bissière, Estève, Manessier, Schneider, and Soulages, which led him further from figurative painting and towards non-figurative painting, finally arriving at abstraction in 1952.
Also during 1952, he met Pierre Soulages at the Exposition des Surindépendats. In 1953, he entered the Salon de Mai with the help of Schneider. He signed a contract with the Galerie Claude-Bernard in Paris in 1956, which two years later in 1958 was host to his first solo exhibition (reviewed by Michel Ragon in Cimaise). In 1959, he began to paint with acrylic and completed his first engravings. The same year he won the Lissone prize for best young painter. Then in 1962, Marfaing represented France at the Biennale di Venezia alongside Manessier, Poliakoff, Messagier, and Guitet.
In 1963, Andersen introduced Marfaing to Birch, who would become his principle curator. Marfaing joined a circle of young painters, including Bitran, Corneille, Doucet, Gillet, Lindström and Tabuchi, in 1964 that exhibited regularly at the Galerie Ariel under the direction of Jean Pollack.
In 1968, Marfaing was active in the defence of painters of the new generation along with Jean Pierre Jouffray, Jean Milhaud, Gérard Gosselin, Kijno, Robert Fachard, and others. Marfaing began to exhibit regularly in France and abroad in 1969. A large exhibition of his work took place in 1978 at the Maison de la Culture d'Orléans, and in 1986, Jean Pollack organized a large retrospective exhibition in his gallery.
André Marfaing died in Paris on March 30, 1987.