Born in the French town of Culan in 1904, Maurice Estève moved to Paris in 1913. Estève worked as designer in a textile factory in Barcelona 1923. During his visits to the Louvre in the 1920s, he was particularly impressed by the painters Jean Fouquet and Paolo Uccello and among the modern artists, Paul Cezanne had the greatest influence on Estève.
Largely self-taught, Estève attended the Académie Colarossi in 1924, where he worked to implement his motifs according to the model of Georges Braque and Fernand Léger, thus creating a kind of Cubist Fauvism.
Estève moved away from realism in 1928, influenced by Léger, Matisse and Bonnard. His first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie Yvangot in Paris in 1930. He worked as assistant to French artist Robert Delaunay on decorative panels for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. In the 1940s his stylized figure, still-life and landscape compositions with strong colors gradually became completely abstract, with tight-knit interlocking shapes in rich, bold colors.
Maurice Estève exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 1954. His œuvre, like the works of his colleagues Jean-Paul Riopelle and Jean René Bazaine, established a new pictoral language: lyrical abstractions with the aim of depicting form and color with an almost poetic attitude. His works are held in private and public collections around the world.