He studied at Saint Martin's School of Art under Anthony Caro, and taught at Saint Martin's, at the University of California, Santa Barbara and at the University of Iowa before being appointed Associate Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in 1974. He retired from teaching in 1997 and continued to live and work in Victoria, Canada until his death in 2006.
Brener's early practice grew from the formalist innovations of his contemporaries at Saint Martin's. During the 1980s his work developed a more playful individuality as he began to incorporate consumer items, most often toys, and experiment with kinetic sculpture driven by electronic motors or computers. In his later work he began to use the computer as a design tool to produce fantastical distortions of everyday images and objects which were then fabricated in wood or synthetic materials.
During his lifetime Roland Brener was one of the most distinguished sculptors and art educators in Canada and his work is represented in most of the major public collections in the country, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. He also represented Canada at the Biennal Internacional de São Paulo in 1987 and the Venice Biennale in 1988. More recently, Brener exhibited Swinger at Deitch Projects (2000) in New York, and in Part Two, a duo exhibition with Mowry Baden, at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2006).
- "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
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