He began studying architecture and then abandoned them to devote himself entirely to the plastic arts with the help of his father Albert Ràfols i Cullerés.
In 1946 he participated in the Els Vuit group and in 1948 in the founding of the October Salon. He then decides to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1950, he obtained a grant to travel to France where he settled in Paris until 1954 with his wife, the painter Maria Girona i Benet. At the same time as French poetry, he deepens his knowledge of the cubism of Picasso and Braque and especially the works of Matisse and Schwitters. A trip to Belgium and Holland made him see paintings by Van Gogh, Mondrian and the group De Stijl.
He will carry out all his life the double activity of painter and poet. The realization of engravings for many books attests to this double belonging, such as Le Surcroît, poem by André du Bouchet, or Policromia or La Galeria dels miralls, of which he is both the author and the illustrator.
Albert Ràfols-Casamada founded and directed with Alexandre Cirici (in 1967) the EINA school, which has become one of the two largest schools of fine arts, architecture and design in Barcelona. Ràfols-Casamada’s work is internationally recognized and now has a decisive influence on many artists. A whole generation of students is trained by the EINA school that Ràfols directs; his students, who later became famous artists or architects, will often pay homage to him.
Albert Ràfols-Casamada is one of the important figures in contemporary Spanish painting. His work, although not lyrical or materialistic, is charged with emotion and sensuality. Likewise, it is constructed without being geometric. Abstract, it translates the major concerns of the Catalan painter: space, light and, above all, color, convey the idea. Patterns and chromatic and dynamic signs are painted in acrylic on matt colored backgrounds, close to the fresco. These presences, dense and light at the same time, organize and interact with each other, making the painting vibrate. Several monumental achievements have demonstrated Albert Rafols-Casamada’s concern for architecture.
The great Spanish museums have devoted important retrospectives to his work as a painter: Joan Miro Foundation and MACBA in Barcelona, Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid, IVAM in Valencia, and many others.