Born in New York City in 1906, Burgoyne Diller was brought up in Michigan and attended Michigan State College. He returned to New York in 1926 and studied at the Art Students League from 1928 to 1932, with Hans Hofmann. Diller made his first geometrical paintings in the 1930s, which were influenced by the rigid formulas of Piet Mondrian's "pure plastic art." Diller's work evolved into an abstract mode of configurations of lines, angles, and primary colors. Diller was one of the original members of the American Abstract Artists.
Between 1935 and 1941, Diller worked for the New York City Federal Arts Program, Mural Division, Works Progress Administration, eventually becoming Director. During that time, he provided commissions for many of the most advanced artists of the day, including Arshile Gorky and Stuart Davis. In 1945, he became associate professor of art at Brooklyn College. Burgoyne Diller died in 1965.