Virtual exhibition: Françoise Sullivan. An Imaginary Line

Curator: Louise Déry

Artist: Françoise Sullivan

Online only :

May 11, 2023 - May 11, 2028

Launch: May 11 2023, 5 p.m., Galerie de l’UQAM

The virtual exhibition

Françoise Sullivan’s long career is structured around a progression of stages that offer essential landmarks in navigating through her oeuvre: the early years, characterized by painting, dance and association with the Automatistes and signing the Refus global in the late 1940s; the development of choreography and the realization of various dance projects; the practice of sculpture, beginning in 1960; photography and film during the following decade; painting inspired by mythology, and then in the 1990s, abstract painting featuring the vibrant expressionism of colour.

This virtual exhibition focuses on the works executed by Françoise Sullivan during the 1970s, when she had discovered new art trends like conceptual art and arte povera. An “imaginary line” – to use the artist’s words – is drawn through her work in photography, film, text and performance. This virtual exhibition was produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Exploration and digital deployment program of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. 

Navigation and Educational Tools in the Virtual Exhibition

Covering the years from 1970 to 1980, the virtual exhibition can be navigated either chronologically or thematically. In other words, the works can be explored by following a timeline or through five themes developed by the exhibition curator:

  • The relationship to the present and to protest movements that challenge society
  • The connection between art, life and concepts involving family
  • The relationship to the body, gesture and performative exploration
  • The relationship to historical time and an interest in archeology and mythology
  • Communication networks, freedom of expression and censorship

About the Artist

Françoise Sullivan is one of the outstanding figures in the art history of Québec and Canada. Active within the Automatistes group and signatory to the Refus global manifesto in 1948, she distinguished herself as a dancer, choreographer and visual artist. Her choreography, sculptures, paintings and conceptual works extend across a long career that has included numerous individual and collective exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States. She has been recognized with numerous honours, including the Paul-Émile Borduas Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and the Order of Canada as well as honorary doctorates from York University and the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montréal. 

About the Curator

Louise Déry (PhD Art History) is director of Galerie de l’UQAM, having previously served as curator at the MNBAQ and the MMFA, as well as director of the Musée régional de Rimouski. She has curated close to a hundred exhibitions in Canada and abroad dedicated to Giuseppe Penone, Rober Racine, Nancy Spero, Dominique Blain, Françoise Sullivan, Michael Snow and Emmanuelle Léonard, to name just a few. Canadian Curator at the 52nd Venice Biennale with the David Altmejd exhibition, she won the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France and a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. 

Support provided by


Œuvres liées

Exposition liée