Françoise Sullivan was born in Montréal in 1925. She studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal between 1941 and 1945. She was past of the exhibition 'Les Sagittaires' at the Dominion Gallery in Montréal in 1943.
In 1945 Sullivan became a professional dancer and began to explore choreography. She went to New York in the fall of 1946 to study modern dance with Franziska Boas, Martha Graham and Louis Horst.
While in New York she organized an exhibition of works by the Automatistes at the Boas studio. She also published an essay on dance in the groups Refus Global manifesto in 1948.
From 1952 to 1956 she choreographed and danced for CBC television.
Once married Sullivan decided to pursue sculpting, she studied welding at the École technique de Lachine. She created a monumental sculpture for Expo 67. During the 1960's she began to experiment with Plexiglas sculpture.
Sullivan traveled to Italy in the 1970's she undertook some conceptual art projects and after 1976 began a collaboration with the sculptor David Moore.
During the 1980's Sullivan returned to painting as her artstic preference, often creating works on irregular canvas supports. She travelled to Crete frequently which inspired a new series inspired by myths.
Since 1977 Sullivan has been a teacher in the Department of Visual Arts and Dance at Concordia University.
Sullivan was awarded the Paul-Émile Borduas Prize in 1987 and was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal in 2003. In 2005, she won a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts for her artistic achievements. She is a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.