Cruz-Diez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in the same city from 1940 - 1945. He would later teach at the same school and moved to Barcelona in 1955 from where he travelled to Paris regularly. There he nurtured relationships with artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto and Sergio Camargo and became associated with the Galerie Denise René. He returned to Caracas in 1957 and was appointed assistant director of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in 1958. His first series of Physichromies was completed in 1959. These three dimensional works of art make use of colour and light that change depending on the position of the spectator in relation to them. The Physichromies mark a pivotal point in his work and career. Since 1970 Cruz-Diez has received a number of commissions all over the world for public buildings and spaces and remains active as an artist today.