Georges Vantongerloo was born on November 24, 1886, in Antwerp, Belgium. From 1905 to 1909 he studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts of Antwerp and Brussels and first exhibited his work in the Netherlands and at the Salon Triennaux in Belgium. He was wounded serving in the Belgian Army during World War I. After being discharged he spent the years between 1914 and 1918 in the Netherlands, where his work attracted the attention of the Queen. While working on architectural designs in the Netherlands, Vantongerloo met Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, and Theo van Doesburg and collaborated with them on the De Stijl magazine, founded in 1917.

Soon after his return to Brussels in 1918 he moved to Menton, France. In France he developed a close friendship with the artist and architect Max Bill, who went on to organize many exhibitions of his work. The artist, accepting the reduction to the horizontal and vertical lines of De Stijl, based his sculpture on the volumetric translation of this principle. In 1924 Vantongerloo published his pamphlet L’Art et son avenir in Antwerp, followed in 1948 by his essay Painting, Sculptures, Reflections.

In 1928 he moved from Menton to Paris where, in 1931, he became Vice-President of the Abstraction-Création group, a position he held until 1937. His models of bridges and a proposed airport were exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1930. In 1936 he participated in the Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His first solo show was held at the Galerie de Berri in Paris in 1943. Vantongerloo shared an exhibition with Max Bill and Antoine Pevsner in 1949 at the Kunsthaus Zürich. His seventy-fifth birthday was celebrated with a solo exhibition at the Galerie Suzanne Bollag in Zurich in 1961. The following year, Bill organized a large Vantongerloo retrospective for the Marlborough New London Gallery. Vantongerloo died on October 5, 1965, in Paris.