Panamarenko was born in 1940 in Antwerp, where he still lives and works. He attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the same city from 1955-1960. Since his first solo show at the Wide White Space Gallery in Antwerp in 1966, Panamarenko has exhibited widely in Europe and Japan. Among numerous group shows, he was included in Documenta V (1972), VI (1977), and IX (1992), the Third Biennial of Sydney (1979), the São Paolo Biennial (1983), and in the Venice biennials in 1976 and 1990.
In recent years, retrospective exhibitions of Panamarenko's work have been presented at the National Museum of Osaka (1992), the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris (1998), and at the Hayward Gallery, London (2000).