Lee Bontecou was born in 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. She attended New York's Arts Students League from 1952 to 1955 where she studied with the sculptor William Zorach. She received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome in 1957-1958 and received her first solo exhibition in 1960 from her dealer Leo Castelli. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s she worked largely in New York and Nova Scotia, Canada, making highly personal constructions. Bontecou received a good deal of critical attention in the 1960s, and her work is included in survey exhibitions of that decade. She had, however, effectively removed herself from the art world by the early eighties.