top of page
Capture d'écran 2023 miroir de l'art.png

André Marfaing

Lumières noires


On the left : 

Untitled, July 1969, oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm, 

© Bertrand Michau

On the right : 

Untitled, November 1979, acrylic on canvas, 73 x 60 cm, © Bertrand Michau

A  luminous, intense, mysterious and hypnotic language...

For the general public, a painting to which black tones have been applied inevitably brings Soulages to mind. However, the work of André Marfaing (1925-1987), no less identifiable than that of the master from Rodez, who elevates black to the rank of primordial colour, deserves equal interest. It is distinguished by a more contrasting approach, in which white, and with it all the intermediate tones of grisaille, invests the work with a particular magic. As his work evolves, Marfaing's pictorial style draws on signs and the swarming of traces to invent a language that is luminous and intense, mysterious and hypnotic.

Showcased by the Espace Rebeyrolle in 2021, this sublime painting is back in the exhibition spotlight thanks to the unprecedented association of two historic galleries in Saint-Germain des Prés: Galerie Claude Bernard and Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès. André Marfaing signed his first contract with Galerie Claude Bernard in 1957. Before embarking on an international career. And twenty years after his death, starting in 2005, the Berthet-Aittouarès gallery undertook to defend his work.

To coincide with the publication of the catalogue raisonné of André Marfaing's work, the two galleries are teaming up for an exhibition retracing the different stylistic periods in the painter's work from 1950 to 1985. Present at the Centre Georges Pompidou, where three paintings entered the museum's collection, Marfaing's work is once again attracting considerable interest from collectors. This is to be welcomed, because this artist, who abandoned figurative painting for abstraction at a very early age (in 1952) and at the same time adopted black, a mixture of all colours, and white, which is the absence of colour, created canvases full of energy, vibrant with poetry. 

The man who wrote of his paintings: "I don't give them titles. You'd think you understood. UNDERSTAND. If we understood art, we would also understand the how and why of the universe. We're not there yet." (in André Marfaing - Notes et croquis, Galerie Ariel 1966) immerses us in a painting where light and shadow clash, the two sides of a secret inner world, steeped in mysticism. Painting, the real thing. M.D


André Marfaing est né à Toulouse le 11 décembre 1925 et mort à Paris le 30 mars 1987.

En 1951, il se lie d'amitié avec Alfred Manessier puis rencontre Pierre Soulages en 1952.

En 1957, il signe un contrat avec la galerie Claude Bernard. En 1962, il représente la France à la Biennale de Venise. A partir des années 70, il participe à de nombreuses expositions en France et à l'étranger. A partir de 2005 son oeuvre est de nouveau mise en lumière grâce à la galerie Berthet-Aittouarès. 

Exposition du 7 septembre au 28 octobre 2023 à la galerie Berthet-Aittouarès, Paris 6è. 

bottom of page