After studying Arabic literature at Damascus University from 1955 to 1957, Marwan relocated to Berlin in order to study painting under the instruction of Hann Trier, a major exponent of Art Informel, at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste from 1957 to 1963. The artist’s exposure to Art Informel’s gestural and spontaneous expressive approach to painting, coupled with the visual language of his cultural heritage, prompted the young Marwan to create deeply introspective works centred on the human figure and face often referred to as his ‘face landscapes’. He is one of the few artists of his generation from the Arab world to explore the genre of the self-portrait.