Françoise Sullivan was born in Montréal, where she initially studied at the city’s École des beaux-arts. While this uniquely multifaceted artist was first renowned as a dancer and choreographer, it has been her work as a painter, sculptor and photographer that has truly stood out in her long career. Along with Paul-Émile Borduas, she was one of the founding members of the avant-garde Automatiste movement, and one of the signatories of that group’s 1948 manifesto, the Refus global. Moreover, in that revolutionary document Borduas included the entire text of Ms. Sullivan’s celebrated lecture on La danse et l'espoir.Since then, her work has been shown at countless different solo and group exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (1993) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2003).
She received the Paul-Émile Borduas Award in 1987 and holds honorary degrees from UQAM and Toronto’s York University. A teacher at Concordia University since 1977, Françoise Sullivan is also a board member of the Montreal Arts Council and remains in demand as a jury member and lecturer.