Lia Drei was born in Rome, the daughter of a sculptor and painter. She studied in Rome and at Columbia University in New York, where she lived for five years. In 1958 she married the painter Franscesco Guerreri.

She was a co-founder of Gruppo 63, and a proponent of structural movement. She often used optical-kinetic techniques, along with a supporting color structure. From 1982 until 1986 she participated in Metapittura. The works include colorful cut-out books with titles such as “Kaleidoscope” and “The Painted Diamond”.
She has been in international shows, including the Sao Palo Biennale of 1981, as well as ones all over Italy, including the Venice Biennale of 1977. A room is devoted to her work in the Museo Civico di Taverna.