Fourcade was born in Paris, the son of Jean Fourcade, a baker, and his wife, Christiane. He attended the Oratorian school of St. Martin in Pontoise, going on to study at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques and the Ecole des Langues Orientales in Paris, although not graduating.
He moved to the United States in 1955 and joined Knoedler & Company in 1966. He started Xavier Fourcade, Inc. in 1970 and became a dealer in contemporary art. Fourcade represented many artists, including: Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Raoul Hague, Malcolm Morley, John Chamberlain, Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Dorothea Rockburne, Catherine Murphy, Tony Berlant, William Crozier and Magdalena Abakanowicz. Fourcade was entrusted with the estates of Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorky, Tony Smith (shared with the Paula Cooper Gallery), Eva Hesse, and H. C. Westermann.
In 1982, Fourcade became an American citizen. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, and he subsequently returned to France to undergo treatment. Fourcade and Mitchell visited Lille in December 1986 to view an exhibition of works by Henri Matisse from State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad. The trip resulted in the Lille cycle of paintings, followed, after Fourcade's death on April 28, 1987, by the Chord paintings. in New York City at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
- Russell, John (29 April 1987). "XAVIER FOURCADE DEAD AT 60; DEALER IN CONTEMPORARY ART". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Bio". Joan Mitchell Foundation. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Corliss, Richard (1987-07-27). "How Artists Respond to AIDS". Time. p. 4. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
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