Paul Bodin was born in New York City on October 30, 1910. He studied first at the National Academy of Design, but transferred to the Art Students League in 1928, briefly studying under Boardman Robinson.
During the 1930s and early 1940s, Bodin was part of a circle of artists that included Milton Avery, Mark Rothko, and Adolph Gottlieb, who worked in New York City, and Gloucester and Provincetown, Massachusetts. During the Depression, Bodin worked with the WPA Federal Arts Project, completing many paintings of tenement interiors, portraits of family members, and self-portraits. His first solo exhibition was in 1936.
He made his first abstract paintings in 1945 and exhibited regularly in Manhattan until the early 1960s.
Paul Bodin died on February 15, 1994.