CATHY DALEY "DANCER X" OIL PASTEL ON VELLUM, 2018
Cathy Daley (1955-2022) was a beloved Toronto-based artist who began receiving international attention in the late 1980‘s for her signature depictions of the female form. Her most iconic works, such as this one, feature elegant female figures in glamorous gowns or costumes. She almost exclusively worked with black oil pastel on translucent vellum paper. Daley perfectly balanced abstraction with stylized figuration.
Cathy Daley’s artworks are “inspired by ballerina tutus, the garbs of fairy-tale princesses and Barbie doll couture” in the context of “[exploring] cultural representation of the feminine and the body” in Western culture. Her works thrive on juxtaposing the lithe, ethereal female figures, whose qualities are also mirrored in the delicate vellum paper, with the opaque, black pastel.
These figures can be at once weighty and striking in some parts while appearing delicate and soft in other areas. The tension between delicate and powerful is clear in both her figures and mediums of choice. The result is images that are both seductive and subversive.
This work is a paradigm of Daley’s practice, however, it pushes further into abstraction as the figure is almost entirely stylized. The artist emphasizes elongated limbs and the crisscrossing of lines that compose her subject rather than human proportions.
Cathy Daley's work can be found in numerous private and public collections across North America including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and the University of Pennsylvania: Friedman Gallery, among many others.
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"Untitled (Dancer X)"
Oil pastel on vellum
Signed and dated by the artist.
24"H 19"W (work)
30.5"H 25"W (framed)
Very good condition.
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