Françoise Sullivan: Les Saisons Sullivan

January 28 to April 10, 2016

Kenderdine and Hill Galleries

I danced with light feet on the rough slopes of winter. I turned round in the cold wind and ran under the sun. . . . I let rhythms flow. I perceived the space of day—cut it and shaped it.”

—Françoise Sullivan

Françoise Sullivan’s evocative description of Danse dans la neige (1948), a revolutionary outdoor dance performance, crystallizes the vision of an artist who was to profoundly influence the future of contemporary dance, art and film in Québec and Canada. Françoise Sullivan: Les Saisons Sullivan pays homage to her pioneering contributions through an exhibition that traces the artist’s vision that traverses traditionally defined boundaries of media in dance, photography, film, painting and sculpture. Presented alongside, and as part of, the MacKenzie’s inter-disciplinary and collaborative residency project MAGDANCE 3: art + dance, this exhibition offers compelling insights into an artist who opened wide the doors between art disciplines in a passionate embrace of new forms of personal expression.

At the heart of the exhibition is the portfolio Les Saisons Sullivan (2007). The portfolio of dance photographs, drawings and text grew out of a desire to complete Sullivan’s idea to dance out-of-doors in each of the four seasons and create movement in immediate response to the environment—a flow of free invention that would be captured on film.

Françoise Sullivan’s ground-breaking work has been acknowledged through several awards and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. Sullivan has taught at Concordia University since 1997 and holds honorary degrees from the Université du Québec à Montréal and York University. Her work can be found in major collections across Canada.