De Wain Valentine was born in Colorado in 1936, and he lives and works in Los Angeles. Valentine arrived in Los Angeles in 1965 to teach a course in plastics technology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is among the earliest pioneers of the use of industrial plastics and resins to execute monumental sculptures that reflect light and engage the surrounding space with mesmerisingly translucent surfaces. His technical knowledge, coupled with his experience using fibre-reinforced plastics when working in boat building shops and painting automobiles, led to his fascination with making sculptures out of coloured plastic and polyester resin.
Valentine’s solo exhibitions include Ruhrtriennale 2017, Ruhr; De Wain Valentine: Human Scale at the Georgia Museum of Art (2012) and From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column (1975–76) at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles (2011). Recent group exhibitions include Space Shifter at Hayward Gallery, London and Celebrate the New Glenstone at the Glenstone Museum, Maryland, both in 2018. Important international collections that hold his works include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and François Pinault Foundation, Venice.