Cruz-Diez was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1923. He studied in the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas de Caracas at the same time as other Venezuelan abstract artists: Soto, Otero, Guevara, Debourg and others. From 1955 to 1957 he lived in Spain, but visited Paris often, where he was greatly impressed by the work being done by Jesús Soto. Returning to Venezuela, he became Assistant Director of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas. In 1961 he was again in Paris, this time making kinetic works. In 1967 he was awarded the Painting Award at the Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil. Beginning in the 1970s, his works were exhibited worldwide. He lives in Paris, where he has created several major public works.