Produced by Galerie de l’UQAM in parternship with La Macina di San Cresci
Galerie de l’UQAM is proud to present Françoise Sullivan. Works from Italy, bringing together works inspired by this great Montréal-based artist’s numerous trips to Italy, where she met several important figures in the art world.
Since the 1940s, Françoise Sullivan has created a vibrant and voluminous oeuvre of remarkable versatility and constantly renewed inventiveness. 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, not only in sculpture, performance, dance and photography, but also most decisively in painting.
THE EXHIBITION AND REUNION WITH GIANFRANCO SANGUINETTI
During the 1970s, Françoise Sullivan visited Italy on multiple occasions to immerse herself in the artistic movements being developed around Arte Povera. In Rome, she met several leading figures in the art world such as Jannis Kounellis, Mario Diacono, Emilio Prini, Germano Celant and Graziella Lonardi. Particularly in the summer of 1972, she stayed in Tuscany with her sons, where she regularly met with Gianfranco Sanguinetti, a revolutionary theorist and member of the italian Situationist International branch. Alongside him and on several occasions, she met Guy Debord, founder of the Situationist movement and author of The Society of the Spectacle. In Françoise Sullivan. Works from Italy, Sullivan once more visits the sites where these encounters took place, a lesser-known period of the artist’s extensive career. Here, she showcases works either created in Tuscany and Rome, or inspired by these moments that embody a true turning point and gave impetus to her artistic vision. September 22 and 23 will furthermore mark the public reunion between Sullivan and famous author Gianfranco Sanguinetti.
An abundant production of performances, choreographies, writings, photographs and paintings marks the artist’s career and has earned Françoise Sullivan a place in the pantheon of Canada’s greatest artists. Sullivan’s trajectories, so radiant, 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.
Françoise Sullivan, dancer, choreographer and visual artist, was one of the founding members of the Automatiste group and a signatory of the manifesto Refus global (Total Refusal) in 1948. From the 1960s on, her work grew more diversified as she turned to photography, sculpture, installation and performance art. However, it is painting that has occupied her interest most intensly over the years, and she continues to devote impressive energy to it today. There are many reasons why Françoise Sullivan is a significant figure in the history of art in Québec and Canada, as is apparent from the range of distinctions she has received, which include the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, the Ordre de Montréal, the Ordre national du Québec, the Order of Canada, a Governor General’s Award, etc. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (1981-82; 2018-19), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (1993), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2003) and Galerie de l’UQAM (1998; 2018), as well as in a great number of group exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States. For thirty years, beginning in 1977, Sullivan taught visual arts at Concordia University in Montréal. She was born and still lives in Montréal where she is represented by Galerie Simon Blais.