Yvaral studied graphic art and publicity at the Ecole des Arts Appliques between 1950 and 1953. In 1960, Yvaral co-founded the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visual (GRAV) with Julio Le Parc, François Morellet, Francisco Sobrino, Horacio Garcia Rossi and Joel Stein, seeking to develop a coherent abstract visual language composed of simple geometric elements.
In 1975 he coined the phrase 'Numerical Art' to describe artwork composed (or programmed) according to numerical rules or algorithms. From this time onwards he used computers to digitally process and manipulate images, although the final images were always hand painted. He used this technique to produce several series of portraits starting from instantly recognisable images, such as the face of Marilyn Monroe, and processing them to the point where they become abstract compositions, while the original image remains recognisable.