Françoise Sullivan studied at the École des beauxarts de Montréal from 1940 to 1945. Invited to participate in Les Sagittaires exhibition of the Society of Contemporary Arts in 1943, Sullivan, along with other avant-garde artists—including Pierre Gauvreau and Paul-Émile Borduas—formed the Automatists, which published the Refus Global in 1948. Sullivan continually reinvented herself for a large part of her career, as she transitioned from sculpture to contemporary dance and conceptual art. Nostalgic for working with materials, Sullivan returned to painting in the 1980s. Her works are permeated with movement and sensuality stemming from her past as a choreographer. In the 1990s, Sullivan refined the pictorial composition of her paintings, in which chromatic vibrations and the quality of the textures convey the intimate dialogue between the artist and her work.