De Wain Valentine was born in 1936 in Fort Collins, Colorado. He received a BFA from the University of Colorado and an MFA from Yale. After a brief stint in New York, Valentine settled in Los Angeles. He is associated with the Light and Space movement in the 1960s.
Valentine's pieces are in the permanent collections of such prominent institutions as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, and the Denver Museum of Art.