SULLIVAN, Françoise (1925)

Françoise Sullivan attended the École des beaux-arts de Montréal from 1941 to 1945, earning the Prix Maurice-Cullen in 1943 and becoming part of the Automatiste group during her studies. In 1945, she became a professional dancer and entered the world of choreography, heading to New York the following year to further her dance training. She also organized an Automatiste exhibition and later published a text entitled La danse et l’espoir in the 1948 Refus global manifesto. In 1949, she completed a welding apprenticeship at the École technique de Lachine, her folded metal sculptures resembling choreographic movements viewed from above. In 1963, she received first prize in sculpture at the Concours artistique du Québec. She created a monumental sculpture for Expo 67 and experimented with using Plexiglas toward the end of the decade. While staying in Italy during the seventies, she began exploring conceptual art projects before returning to painting on uneven surfaces in the eighties; she was also occasionally teaching dance and visual arts at Concordia University at this time. In 1987, she was awarded the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas for her body of work. In 1997, she produced a magnificent sculpture entitled Montagnes (“mountains”) for the entrance to the President Kennedy pavilion of the Université du Québec à Montréal’s Complexe des sciences; she received an honorary doctorate from the school in 2000. In 2003, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts held a retrospective of her work, and in 2005, she was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. A multidisciplinary artist ahead of her time, Sullivan has led a resolutely bold and inventive career.

SEE:
« Nouvelles pratiques sculpturales : Yvette Bisson, Françoise Sullivan » by Rose Marie Arbour, ESPACE #25, p. 17.
« Françoise Sullivan : Montagnes » by Francine Jacques, ESPACE #44, p. 42.
« Impressions de passage… » by Monique Régimbald-Zeiber, ESPACE, vol. 6, no 1, p. 38.