Cathy Daley



Cathy Daley (1955-2022)¬†was a beloved Toronto-based artist who began receiving international attention in the late 1980‚Äės 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‚Äôs artworks are ‚Äúinspired by ballerina tutus, the garbs of fairy-tale princesses and Barbie doll couture‚ÄĚ in the context of ‚Äú[exploring] cultural representation of the feminine and the body‚ÄĚ 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 while appearing delicate and soft in other areas. The tension between the 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, featuring her signature female form in a fluttering tutu that occupies the entire upper width of the image. 

Cathy Daley works 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. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Untitled (Ruffles)"

Canada, 2018

Oil pastel on vellum

Signed and dated by the artist. 

26"H 40"W (work)

33.5"H 47.25"W (framed)

Very good condition. 

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