Graduated in history, he received private art lessons and produced his first paintings following a trip to Italy. Initially influenced by Cubism and Expressionism, Dexel became close to Constructivism, whose principles he embraced not only in paintings but also in typography, advertising, interiors, graphic and stage design. In 1928 he wrote Das Wohnhaus von Heute. He became close friend with van Doesburg. He gave up painting in 1935 and after the war he published several books about form.