De Wain Valentine was born in 1936 in Fort Collins, Colorado. He received both a BFA (1958) and an MFA (1960) from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and in 1958 he attended the prestigious Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art in Connecticut. He has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1980) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1981). Important early solo exhibitions were held at Ace Gallery, Los Angeles (1968); Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich (1969); Pasadena Art Museum (1970); Long Beach Museum (1971); La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art (1971); Galleries Denise Rene, New York (1973); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1979); and PS1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, New York (1981). More recent solo exhibitions include the J. Paul Getty Museum (2011); Colorado State University Art Museum, Fort Collins (2012); and the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens (2012). Valentine’s work has also been included in a number of important group exhibitions that served to introduce the Light and Space artists to a national audience, including Annual Sculpture Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1966, 1968, 1970); Sculpture Of The 60’s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1967); Plastic Presence, Jewish Museum, New York, Milwaukee Art Center, and San Francisco Art Museum (1969); The Industrial Edge, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1969); and, more recently, Primary Atmospheres: Works From California 1960-1970, David Zwirner, New York (2010); Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents In L.A. Painting And Sculpture, 1950-1970, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2011).
Valentine’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections, including Aldrich Museum of Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, New Mexico; Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Palo Alto; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; Honolulu Museum of Art; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Milwaukee Art Center; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Muzeum Sztuki, Łód ´z, Poland; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, University of Utah, Logan; Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; San Diego Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Valentine lives and works in Los Angeles.