2017_Sullivan2_gFrançoise Sullivan, Portraits de personnes qui se ressemblent, digital prints mounted on wood panels, black and white, 1971 (printed 2003), 152,4 x 101,6 cm (each). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal. © Françoise Sullivan / SODRAC (2017)

Françoise Sullivan. Trajectoires resplendissantes

Curator: Louise Déry

January 11 to February 18, 2017
Opening: Tuesday, January 10, 5:30 pm

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The Galerie de l'UQAM is proud to start off 2017 with an extraordinary Montréal artist, Françoise Sullivan. The director of the Galerie and curator of the exhibition has assembled a diverse set of works – many of which will be shown for the first time – by one of the most influential figures in the history of Québec and Canadian art.

The opening on January 10 will include a dance piece, Je parle, choreographed by Françoise Sullivan and performed by Ginette Boutin. Also at the event, the journal esse will launch its latest issue exploring the theme of the Library. A number of other activities (dance pieces, guided tours, a discussion forum, etc.) are scheduled throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition

Unfolding over many decades, the remarkable career of Françoise Sullivan occupies an important place in the history of Québec and Canadian art. In the mid-1940s, when she was surrounded by thinkers, poets and artists from all walks of life, her debuts in dance and painting were an opportunity to explore the aesthetic concerns shaking up the art world of the period, particularly as a member of Les Automatistes. The young woman who created Danse dans la neige (Dance in the snow) in 1948 – the most iconic work of Canadian contemporary dance –, and who exhibited her earliest paintings with Borduas, Riopelle and Gauvreau has since created an extensive, vibrant oeuvre of remarkable versatility and continually renewed inventiveness while remaining faithful to the principles of freedom and engagement she embraced during her early career. Inspired by the great European and Native North American mythological traditions, passionate about art and poetry, and influenced by the time she spent in New York, Italy, Ireland and Greece, Sullivan has, in her boundless curiosity, never stopped experimenting with form and colour, gesture and movement, figuration and abstraction, whether in sculpture, installation, performance, photography or, quite decisively, painting.

The works in this exhibition (some of which have been reconstructed from the artist’s archives) merge various conceptual trajectories that evolved from an investigation of the meaning and practice of art. In the words of Louise Déry, ”In these works, consciousness and the body are in a state of alert. Intuition of place and acuteness of the instant have prompted their appearance; individual destiny and collective myths have conditioned their imaginative thrust. For Sullivan, the frozen ground of a winter landscape, the apotheosis of a site housing oil refineries, the disenchanted legend of our uneasy heroes, the uncommon meeting beyond time of two young faces, and the words offered when a painting speaks or falls silent, when choreographed bodies are activated or immobilized, form a constellation of circumstances laden with meaning”.

In the performances, choreographies, writings, photographs and paintings that mark out path of the artist’s practice since the 1940s, concepts are brilliantly asserted in worked colour, fertilized abstraction, the pictorial body. Some works survive in a photographic image or a documentary record that embodies and extends them; others – tied to process and spontaneous, improvised, at times ephemeral manoeuvres – resist. Sullivan’s trajectories, so radiant and, to use Borduas’s word, so liberating, enlighten both our recent history and the present moment. She who still goes to work in her studio every day and continues to think (and think of herself) in and through art, invites us to engage in the vital relationship between the work of art, memory and the world around us.

A major publication will appear later in the year. In addition to the content of the exhibition, it will include all the texts written and published by the artist in the course of her career.


The artist

Françoise Sullivan has made her mark as dancer, choreographer and visual artist. She was one of the founding members of Les Automatistes, along with Paul-Émile Borduas, and a signatory of the Refus global manifesto in 1948. In the 1960s, her work branched out into sculpture, photography, installation and performance. Painting, however, has been her great passion over the years and she continues to work at it with impressive energy.

For many reasons, Françoise Sullivan is an outstanding figure in the history of Québec and Canadian art, as reflected by her numerous awards: the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, the Ordre du Québec and the Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, etc. These honours recognize her exceptional career path and the creative diversity of her prodigious body of work. She has been the subject of retrospectives at the Musée d’art contemporain in Montréal (1981), the Musée national des beaux-arts in Québec City (1993), the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (2003) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (2010) and has been featured in an impressive number of collective exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States, including On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2010), and The Automatiste Revolution: Montréal 1941-1960 at the Varley Art Gallery, Unionville, Ontario (2010) and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. She is represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montréal.

The curator

Louise Déry (PhD Art History) is director of the Galerie de l'UQAM and associate professor in the Department of Art History at UQAM. Formerly a curator at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, and director of the Musée régional de Rimouski, she has curated numerous exhibitions, including Daniel Buren, Giuseppe Penone, Rober Racine, Sarkis, Nancy Spero, David Altmejd, Dominique Blain, Françoise Sullivan, Michael Snow, Stéphane La Rue, Raphaëlle de Groot, Artur Żmijewski, Manon de Pauw, and more recently Aude Moreau, to name just a few. She has presented some thirty foreign exhibitions of Canadian artists, including a dozen in Italy, as well as in France, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, the United States and Asia. She was curator of the Canadian pavilion at the Venice Biennale with a David Altmejd exhibition (2007). At the Venice Biennales of 2013 and 2015, she presented performances by Raphaëlle de Groot and Jean-Pierre Aubé. She is a recipient of the Hnatyshyn Award (2007) and the Governor General's Award (2015), and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Activities produced by the Galerie de l'UQAM

In conjunction with the exhibition, two dance pieces with texts by Françoise Sullivan will be presented free of charge:

Je parle (1993)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 5:30 pm (during the opening)

With Ginette Boutin, a dancer who has interpreted the choreographic repertoire of Françoise Sullivan for 30 years.

Droit debout (1973)

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 3 pm, 3:30 pm and 4 pm

With the dancers Michèle Febvre, Paul-André Fortier, Dana Michel, Myriam Arsenault, Andréa Corbeil and Nicolas Patry. The text by Françoise Sullivan accompanying the choreography will be interpreted by actress Christiane Pasquier.

The presentations will be followed at 4:30 pm by a Conversation between Françoise sullivan and Louise Déry.

Other complementary activities:

Guided tours of the public art work Montagne by Françoise Sullivan with a mediator

Hall of the pavillon Président-Kennedy, UQAM
Thursday, January 12, 2017, 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Guided tours of the exhibition with the curator

Tuesday, January 17, 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 17:30 pm – 18:30 pm

Guided tours of the exhibition

Available any time. Reservations required with Philippe Dumaine, 514 987-3000, ext. 3280, or dumaine_allard.philippe@uqam.ca

Educational booklet

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Support provided by


2017_motion_pNadia Myre, Portrait in Motion, 2001-2002, video. Exhibition view of Motion, 2015, Galerie de l’UQAM


Curators: La Fabrique d'expositions, Montreal

MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina
January 20 to May 22, 2017

Centre culturel canadien, Paris
April 19, 2017
Athe the occasion of the National Canadian Film Day

Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome
May 17, 2017, 4:30 pm

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Motion brings together the work of eleven artists from Quebec in an anthology of video pieces on the theme of "motion," understood in two senses: as movement and as a proposal. The concept of motion takes into consideration the energy that activates as well as the principle that motivates. This double raison d'être initiates often absurd or even preposterous processes and actions in the works exhibited, a sort of infernal circle that directs our attention to the planetary issues of food and energy production. Their reserve supply, which is not always renewable, becomes a test zone crying out for inventive alternatives. Destruction and death, nourishment and survival: the motion that has now become urgent at the intersection of these inescapable realities is borne by artists and their observation of today's world.


Jean-Pierre Aubé, Patrick Bernatchez, BGL, Caroline Boileau, Michel de Broin, Pascal Grandmaison, Nelson Henricks, Myriam Laplante, Eduardo Menz, Nadia Myre, Chih-Chien Wang


La Fabrique d’expositions is a collective of Montreal curators committed to realising projects in a spirit of collegiality in partnership with various exhibitors. They periodically are involved in major cultural events in Canada and abroad, while also developing new initiatives for disseminating the most current artistic forms. Their most recent project, Videozoom. L’entre-images, has been presented in 12 cities in Canada and abroad. Its members have been working together for several years, encouraging the pooling and brewing of ideas. The collective is comprised of three curators: Julie Bélisle, Louise Déry and Audrey Genois.


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2017_Esparza_gGilberto Esparza, Plantas autofotosintéticas, 2013-2016, detail of the installation (core)

Gilberto Esparza. Plantas autofotosintéticas

Curators: Nuria Carton de Grammont and Véronique Leblanc

May 10 to June 17, 2017
Opening: Tuesday, May 9, 5:30 pm

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The Galerie de l’UQAM presents Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza’s first solo exhibition in Canada: Plantas autofotosintéticas. Working in collaboration with researchers such as engineers, biologists and robotics experts, Esparza produces hybrid entities—part machine, part living organism—that address a number of issues related to the environmental crisis. The artist’s practice creates a stimulating dialogue between contemporary art, science and new technologies, in an effort to examine the impact of human activity on the natural world.

Curated by Nuria Carton de Grammont and Véronique Leblanc, the exhibition Gilberto Esparza. Plantas autofotosintéticas is possible thanks to the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes from Mexico and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

The exhibition

The exhibition at the Galerie de l’UQAM centres on Gilberto Esparza’s most recent work, Plantas autofotosintéticas (Autophotosynthetic Plants), which has been presented since 2013 in several cities around the world (Lima, Mexico, Linz, Ljubljana, Athens). Both functional and utopian, the work produces an alternative and renewable source of energy by processing the contaminants found in sewage, while offering alternative ways to envision the city’s future. As Montréal celebrates its 375th anniversary, this installation invites us to reconsider the city’s criss-crossing network of underground sewer systems, normally hidden from view and beyond public consciousness, as an energy-generating structure that can feed and maintain a living ecosystem. Also on display are research documents that detail the social issues and artistic processes behind the project.

This exhibition also features a film based on the large-scale project Plantas nómadas (Nomadic Plants, 2008–2013), which chronicles the activities of an autonomous biological robot designed to live on the shores of polluted rivers. Set along the banks of the Rio Lerma and the Rio Grande de Santiago, in Mexico, the work reveals how water pollution and privatization have affected the area’s natural resources and rural populations. A series of photographs from this project are presented concurrently at the Maison du développement durable (Centre for Sustainable Development). By combining art practice with developments in biotechnology, and creating space for education and public awareness, Gilberto Esparza’s work demonstrates the urgent need to radically transform how we manage our resources and energy production through new approaches that are less devastating to human life on Earth.

The artist

Gilberto Esparza is interested in the social, economic and political impact of new technologies on urban spaces and the environment. Over the past ten years, he has participated in more than 70 group exhibitions around the world, as well as a dozen solo exhibitions in Mexico, Spain, Slovenia and Peru. He studied Visual Arts at the Universidad de Guanajuato (2003, Guanajuato, Mexico), and Fine Arts at the Universitat Politècnica de València (2000, Valencia, Spain). He began working with alternative energy in 2008, and in 2013 he was awarded the TEDActive Prize from The Lincoln Reimagine Project in California, and the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, in 2015. Esparza’s use of recycled electronic materials and biotechnology creates a playful and critical context for discussion and awareness within public spaces and art galleries.

The curators

Nuria Carton de Grammont is an art historian, curator and part-time faculty at Concordia University, where she specializes in Latino-American contemporary art. She holds an MA in Art History from UQAM, a PhD in Art History from Concordia University, and two post-doctorates from the Université de Montréal, including one from the Montréal Centre for International Studies, and the second from the Department of Geography. Carton de Grammont also coordinates the Research Network on Latin America (RÉAL) at the Université de Montréal. She is the co-editor of Politics, Culture and Economy in Popular Practices in the Americas (Peter Lang, 2016), and has published several articles in magazines such as Oltreoceano, Les Cahiers ALHIM, Fractal, esse arts + opinions, Inter - art actuel and Archée. As a curator, Carton de Grammont has focused on projects that foster interculturalism. In recent years, she has presented Milpa, ritual imprescindible (Botanical Gardens of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2016), Espejismos by Catherine Bodmer (Espacio Mexico, Montréal, 2014), Narcotrafic and the art of violence (Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence, Montréal, 2014). She lives and works in Montréal.

Véronique Leblanc is a curator, writer and part-time faculty in Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal. The focus of her research is on contextual, process-based and relational art practices, as well as the links between art, ethics and politics. Her most recent exhibitions include Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens. Putting Life to Work (Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen, Montréal, 2016), Polyphonies (Optica, Montréal, 2015) and faire avec (AdMare, Magdalen Islands, 2013). Leblanc holds an MA in Art History from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and is the recipient of the John R. Porter Prize from the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. She is one of five curators for LandMarks2017/Repères2017, a cross-Canada project initiated by Toronto’s Partners in Art, which invites artists to create new works based in or around Canada’s National Parks that take a critical look at how we envision our relationship to the land, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In the fall of 2013, Leblanc was awarded the M&M Curatorial Research Residency Program, organized by Oboro in Montréal and the Laboratorio Arte Alameda in Mexico City, and sponsored by the Conseil des arts de Montréal. That residency was the starting point for the presentation of Gilberto Esparza’s work in Montréal. Véronique Leblanc lives and works in Montréal.

Mediation activities

Opening of the exhibition at the Maison du développement durable
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 12:15 pm
At the occasion of the Maison du développement durable’s Summer programming
Suggested donation: 5 $
RSVP: lamdd.org/ete2017

Guided tour of the exhibition with the artist and the curators
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 4 pm
Galerie de l’UQAM
Free admission

Bioelectronics workshop
Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11, 2017, 10 am to 5 pm
In partnership with Hexagram UQAM and the Exposition agriculturelle
Registration fees: $ 60
Registration and details: http://hexagram.uqam.ca/content/atelier-en-bioelectronique

Lead by artist Gilberto Esparza, engineer Diego Liedo Lavaniegos and artist and professor Gisèle Trudel, this workshop is intended for any artist, scientist, engineer, student or professional interested in sustainable development. Participants will learn to treat wastewater with biological processes in order to obtain electrical energy from microorganisms. This “green” energy will be used later to experiment with analog electronics and translate biochemical processes into electrical signals to activate devices developed in the workshop. This workshop encourages interdisciplinary reflection and action about the importance of water. It combines art, engineering and science in the realization of a collective project on bioelectronics that values an ecological approach to technology.

Guided tours with the curators
Saturday, June 10, 2017, 1:30 pm
In French
Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30 pm
In Spanish
Galerie de l'UQAM
Free admission

Guided tours of the exhibition
Available any time. Reservations required with Philippe Dumaine, 514 987-3000, ext. 3280, or dumaine_allard.philippe@uqam.ca

The educational booklet

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Support provided by


2017_BlaisMetivier2_gCharles-Antoine Blais Métivier, Pub_3.psd, 2017, digital photograph, dimensions variable

Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier. Objet de recherche

Graduating master's student in visual and media arts (MFA), UQAM

May 10 to June 17, 2017
Opening: Tuesday, May 9, 5:30 pm

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The ubiquity of tactile interfaces and the digitization of media contents are transforming our relationship to the consumption and production of visual objects. While the tactile commands of mobile devices adapt to images to grant them a material and usable property, the technological apparatus is for its part sublimated by the fluidity of the interface that hides its inherent materiality in favour of a relation that is increasingly attuned to its user. Objet de recherche is interested in the intimate relation between users and their mobile devices, as well as in the synesthetic perceptions acquired through an addiction to these personal interfaces. By way of a participative set-up, the exhibition seeks to reveal the cultural or even political conquests that the sensorial experiences of users are now the object of.

2017_JDMM_gView of the Guerrilla Girls' Toubler le repos / Disturbing the Peace poster campaign at its creation in 2009 in Montréal

Montréal Museums Day 2017

Guerrilla Girls, Gilberto Esparza and Charles-antoine Blais Métivier

Sunday, May 28, 2017
10 am to 5 pm

Montréal Museums Day free shuttle service: Red bus route - Stop  7

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For a second year, the Galerie de l’UQAM is proud to take part in Montreal Museums Day on Sunday, May 28. On this occasion, the Galerie de l'UQAM is calling for an awakening of consciousness through three projects: a work by the Guerrilla Girls as well as the exhibitions of Gilberto Esparza and Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier. These artists, in their own way, analyze the contemporary world and propose new alternatives to rethink its structures and practices. At the Galerie, many mediators will allow the public, in a convivial atmosphere, to appreciate the richness and the complexity of the works presented.

Support provided by

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2017_Passage_gPassage à découvert 2016, exhibition view, Galerie de l’UQAM

Passage à découvert 2017

Graduating students in visual and media arts (BFA), UQAM

April 21 to 29, 2017
Opening: Thursday, April 20, 5:30 pm

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Passage à découvert is an opportunity to discover the works of tomorrow’s contemporary artists and teachers who will take their place in museums, galleries and schools. The exhibition illustrates the students’ creative vitality, curiosity and freedom and bears witness to recent graduates’ professionalism and the excitement that their projects stir up. Presented each year, this exhibition also reveals the wealth and diversity of the programs offered by the École des arts visuels et médiatiques, which favours a multidisciplinary education.

Participating artists

Claudia Almansa, Marie-Michèle Beaudoin, Céline Bellehumeur, Stéfanie Béland-Robert, Joan Berthiaume, Maude Bertrand, Béatrice Boily, Maxime Boisvert, Charles Bourbeau, Laure Bourgault, Julie Cantin, Jorge Oswaldo Carranza Sanchez, Nancy Charbonneau, Jonathan D’Amours, Luc Dansereau, Charlotte Desserteaux, Laurie Desloges Masson, Marly Fontaine, Richelli Fransozo, Marie-France Gagnier, Sophie Gauthier, Martine Gingras, André Girard, Andréanne Gouin, Marine Gourit, Baptiste Guilhempéré, Sarah Hadjou, Julien Houle, Florence Jacob, Alain Lalonde, Josèphe Landreville, Chloé Larivière, Claudel Lauzière Vanasse, Marilyn Leblanc, Marie-Ève Lemieux, Stéphanie L’Italien, Josée Marchand, Marc-Michel Martel, Gabrielle Morrisseau, Cyrille Pelletier-Lemay, Vivianne Proulx, Kathrine Rose, Sarabeth Trivino, Anouk Verviers


Canada Council for the Arts Canada Council for the Arts


Université du Québec à Montréal
1400, Rue Berri, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin, Local J-R 120
Montréal, Québec
Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
Free admission