Renée Van Halm was born in Amsterdam in 1949, she came to Canada in 1954. She lived in Toronto for twenty years before moving to West, where she studied at the Vancouver School of Art, graduating in 1975. She completed her Master's degree in Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montréal.
In 1978 she moved back to Toronto, where she was involved in the establishment of the artist-run centre Mercer Union, she was also director and curator.
In the early part of her career, Van Halm was interested in creating forms that were hybrids of many media, not purely painting, sculpture, or architecture. The evolution of her subject and medium has led her to consider the many forms of visual presentation in our culture. In her efforts to uncover
Her work often depicts architectural landscapes, or abstract compositions, incorporating a variety of colours, shapes, and perspectives. She explores how value is assigned to objects, places, and things, how cultural constructions affect our lives and the many media that make sense of the world at large.
Van Halm lives in Vancouver and teaches at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design.