Cathy Daley: Dance


Edward Cella Art + Architecture (ECAA) is pleased to announce the exhibition of new drawings by Cathy Daley. The exhibition represents the Los Angeles debut for the Toronto-based artist who mines contemporary vocabularies of glamour, fashion, popular culture, to examine the iconography of femininity as it exists in the cultural imaginary, personal memory, and fantasy.  

Fanciful imagery of billowing skirts builds on persistent cultural images inspired from ballerina tutus, fairy-tale princesses, Barbie doll couture and other urban mythology.  Daley’s celebratory, highly textured large scale drawings rendered in pastel and charcoal, investigate the powerful gestures that provoke memories of the feminine form within Western culture.  The work incorporates the iconography of Marilyn Monroe’s windswept dress, to the ballerinas of Degas, and runway models off of the catwalk.  Each sensually explores the cultural representations of the feminine and the body, as derived from our visual culture of Hollywood, art, fashion and advertising. 
Daley prizes black oil pastel for its depth and wide range of tonality and her use of it on translucent vellum reveals her spontaneous and direct working process.  In her hands, this elemental drawing medium creates a sculpture-like presence as she creates a strong sense of volume.  For this new body of work, Daley transforms transparent washes and areas of dense oil pastel to create flowing, fluid lines and silhouettes of the female body enveloped by the swirling movement of abstracted skirts and dresses.  Daley captures the energy and sensation of movement on their charged and energetic bodies.  In doing so; the artist aspires to relate the physical gesture of her loose, gestural drawing process with joy, evanescence and strength in her female characters.


Born in Toronto, Cathy Daley has been exhibiting her work in Canada, Europe and the US since 1980. Her drawings has been featured in institutions including The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, University of Toronto Art Center and will be included in the 10th Anniversary exhibition entitled, Party, at the New Art Gallery, Walsall, United Kingdom. Her work is held by National Gallery of Canada; Canada Council Art Bank; The Art Gallery of Ontario; The Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal; University of Toronto, University of Toronto Art Centre; Albright College; and the University of Pennsylvania among others.