Cathy Daley 1955 - 2022

Cathy Daley lived in Toronto and exhibited her work throughout Canada and internationally from 1980. She was, and continues to be shown in numerous public galleries and museums, artist run centres and commercial galleries including The Power Plant, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, The Saidye Bronfman Centre, The Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre and Mercer Union and Museum Dhondt Dhaenens in Belgium. Most notably, her work is in the collection of The National Gallery of Canada and The Art Gallery of Ontario as well as many other public institutions and private collections. Her work has been written about in numerous publications such as Art in America, Border Crossings and Canadian Art Magazine. She has received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Bertolt Brecht Fund of Berlin. She was Professor Emerita, Ontario College of Art and Design University.


Artist Statement

My work reflects my complex, ambiguous and critical relationship toward the representation of women in Western culture.

Drawing on persistent cultural images, my work investigates childhood memories, as well as contemporary imagery to explore Western culture’s representation of the feminine and the body. The drawings mine vocabularies of glamour, fashion, popular culture, cartoons, street signage, Hollywood cinema,  fairy tales, and mythology,  to examine the  iconography of the feminine as it exists in the cultural imaginary, personal memory, and fantasy.

I work primarily in the medium of drawing and almost exclusively with black pastel on translucent vellum. This medium with its potential for overwriting offers me the possibility of a spontaneous and  direct working process.  I use black pastel for its depth and wide range of tonality.  The drawings often have an almost sculptural presence as a sense of volume is produced.  I also use black pastel because it is an elemental drawing material.

In addition to drawing,  I have also created some sculptural works -“Little Black Dress,” a 17 foot high extravagantly slender cloth gown  and “Soft Stiletto” a collapsed oversized vinyl shoe with stiletto heel.  Both of these pieces evolved from  drawings as did “The Little Black Dress” a video  animation produced from hundreds of drawings of  black dresses morphing into a variety of forms which references early 50s style cartoons.

Recently I am working with paint on canvas to expand my critical gaze of female representation in vintage western culture and how  it contributes to oppressive and limited ideals of women.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
2017 Project Gallery, Toronto
2017 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
2015 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
2015 Newzones Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
2014 Birch Contemporary, Toronto
2013 Edward Cella Art and Architecture, Los Angeles
2013 Newzones, Calgary
2013 Robert Kidd, Brimingham, Michigan
2011 Birch Libralato, Toronto
2011 Newzones, Calgary
2010 MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery, Guelph
2009 Edward Cella Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, California
2009 Birch Libralato, Toronto
2009 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
2009 Newzones, Calgary
2008 Edward Cella, Art and Architecture, Santa Barbara, California
2007 Birch Libralato, Toronto
2007 Newzones, Calgary
2005 Birch Libralato, Toronto
2005 David Mirvish Books on Art, Toronto
2005 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
2005 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
2004 Galerie Trois Points, Montreal
2004 Gallery Stratford, Stratford, Ontario, Dans la nuit
2003 Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto
2003 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
2002 Edward Day Gallery, Toronto
2002 MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie
2002 Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta
2001 Edward Day Gallery, Toronto
2001 Koffler Gallery, North York, Ontario
2001 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
2000 Regional Art Gallery of Rimouski, Quebec
2000 Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery: Quiet Room
1999 Eye Level Gallery, Halifax: Quiet Room
1999 Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
1999 Newzones Gallery, Calgary
1998 Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
1998 Art Gallery of Kelowna, Kelowna, British Columbia
1996 Paul Petro Contemporary Art at 372 rue St. Catherine, Montreal
1996 Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto
1995 Paul Petro Contemporary Art at 179 John St, Toronto
1994 Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, Missouri
1994 Art Gallery of York University, (brochure)
1993 Cold City Gallery, Toronto: Body Drawings
1993 McGill Club Gallery, Toronto
1992 Prince George Art Gallery, Prince George, B.C. (brochure)
1990 Cold City Gallery, Toronto: Life Stories
1989 Eye Level Gallery, Halifax
1988 Embassy Cultural House, London Ont.: Invisible Stories, (brochure)
1988 Oboro, Montréal
1988 YYZ Artists' Outlet, Toronto
1986 Garnet Press, Toronto: Fear of the Mother
1986 Kultur Büro, West Berlin: Misery Loves Company
1984 Mercer Union, Toronto: Turn the Other Cheek ... Get Hit Twice
1983 Das Institut Unzeit, West Berlin: Installation
1982 YYZ Artists's Outlet, Toronto: Drawings: Dog Eats Dog
1981 Mercer Union, Front Gallery, Toronto: Installation
1980 Gallery 76, Toronto: How 'bout dinner and a movie...


Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 Samara Contemporary, Present Body, Toronto
2019 Augsburg Contemporary, This is Now, Augsburg, Germany
2019 Parker Projects, Vancouver
2019 Fashion Art Toronto, Move, Toronto
2019 Samara Contemporary, Centrepiece, Toronto
2018 Project Gallery, Toronto
2016 Sexish, Birch Contemporary, Toronto
2015 Mortal Parts: Figures in the Abstract, Green Art Gallery, Biola University, California
2015 New Century Abstracts, The Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON
2014 This is me, this is also me, McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton, ON
2013 New Century Abstracts, Art Gallery of Peterborough
2012 Fashionality, McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg, ON
2011 Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, WI
2010 New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, United Kingdom
2009 Bods, Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MI
2008 Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, New York
2008 Grit and Grace, Kenderdine Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
2007 Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone , North Carolina
2006 Blackwood Gallery,University of Toronto, Mississauga, Blackwood’s Video Wall
2006 Birch Libralato, Toronto, Essential Works
2005 The Power Plant, Toronto, The Cold City Years,
2005 University of Toronto Art Centre
2004 Museum London and The Art Lab at The University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Just My Imagination touring to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, the Art Gallery of Windsor and Dalhousie Art Gallery
2004 Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto, Worts
2004 University of Toronto Art Centre, University of Toronto
2003 Tracey Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Sweet and Sour
2003 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, New Faces
2003 Art Gallery of Stratford, Stratford, Ontario, This Mortal Coil
2003 Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Dress: Signal
2002 University of Toronto Art Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, On Paper
2001 Art System, Toronto, Big Shots
2001 S.P.I.N. Gallery, Toronto, Princess Princess, Cathy Daley, Georganne Deen, Fiona Smyth
2001 Edward Day Gallery, Toronto, The Sexes
2001 Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, Fall Line Up
2001 Regional Art Gallery of Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec, De l’humain dans la collection
2001 Queen’s Park, Toronto, The Art of Mentoring
2000 Galerie Art Mur, Au-dela de la mode / The Fashion Statement
2000 S.P.I.N. Gallery, Toronto, Fashion Queen
1999 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa : Recent Acquisitions
1999 Cambridge Art Gallery, Cambridge, Ont. : Oh Baby
1999 Paul Petro Contemporary Art : Ways to Remember
1998 Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University : Between Body and Soul
1998 Kenderdine Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask.: Dreadsville
1998 Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Montreal, Que.: Wonderland
1998 Trames de memoire (Touring to the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, B.C;
Mount St. Vincent Gallery, Halifax, N.S.; Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Ontario)
1997 Canadian Film Centre, Toronto
1997 Archive Gallery, Toronto: GLO
1997 Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, "Living in a Material World” Curated by David Liss
1996 Art Gallery of Ontario: Installation : Cathy Daley, Tom Dean, Rebecca Horn and Kiki Smith
1996 Centre Expression, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec: Trames de memoire. Curated by Renee Baert (catalogue)
1995 Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, Belgium: Forgetting, Cathy Daley, Gery de Smet, Till Velten (catalogue)
1995 Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 100 Yonge St, Toronto: On The Surface of Things: Stephen Andrews, Sheila Butler, Cathy Daley and Tom Dean
1994 Open Space Gallery, Victoria, B.C.: Drawing Plus
1992 Oakville Galleries, Oakville: Fortuitous Fragments
1992 Glendon Gallery, Toronto: Brief Window. Cathy Daley, Janice Gurney, Richard Storms
1992 Main/Access, Winnipeg: Identity. Cathy Daley, Tom Dean, Arnaud Maggs, Susan Schelle
1991 Southern Alberta Art Gallery:, Lethbridge, Alberta. (K)ein Vergleich. Silvia Bächli, Thérèse Bolliger, Cathy Daley; (Toured Nationally) (catalogue)
1990 SAW Gallery, Ottawa: Last Chance
1989 The Art Gallery of York University: Drawn From/Drawn Upon
1988 Open Studio, Toronto: Scrap Plate Project
1987 Kultur Büro, West Berlin
1987 Hallwalls, Buffalo, New York: Hallwalls/YYZ Exchange
1986 Garnet Press, Toronto: Best Presents
1985 Galerie Den Haag, Den Haag
1985 Galerie Walchetürm and Galerie Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland: Fire & Ice
1985 Art Gallery at Harbourfront, Toronto: Four Legs Good; The Dog Show
1985 A Space, Toronto: Public Address
1984 Galerie Aufbau-Abbau, West Berlin: Von Toronto: John Brown und Cathy Daley
1984 Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montréal: E(x)changes 2: Toronto
1983 Women in Focus, Vancouver: Parisian Laundry
1982 Das Institut Unzeit, West Berlin: O Kromazone: Die Anderen Von Kanada
1982 Gallery 76, Toronto: YYZ Monumenta
1981 Chromazone, Toronto: Small Masterpieces


Selected International Art Fairs

2008 - 2018 Art Toronto, Toronto,
Birch Contemporary, Oeno Gallery and Project Gallery
2014 San Francisco Art Market, Newzones
2014 Scope, New York, Birch Contemporary
2014 Papier, Montreal, Birch Contemporary
2014 Dallas International Art Fair, Newzoes
2013 Dallas International Art Fair, Newzones
2013 Art L.A. Los Angeles, Edward Cella
2013 San Francisco, Art Market, Edward Cella and Newzones
2008 Next, Chicago, with Birch Libralato and Newzones
2008 Art LA, Los Angeles, with Newzones
2007 Bridge , Miami, with Newzones
2007 Scope, Miami, with Birch Libralato
2007 Toronto International Art Fair, with Birch Libralato
2007 Art Chicago, with Birch Libralato and Newzones
2006 Art 212, New York , with Birch Libralato and Newzones
2006 Bridge Art Fair, Miami, with Birch Libralato and Newzones
2006 Artecite, Art Paris, France
2005 Birch Libralato, Pulse, Miami
2005 Birch Libralato, AAF, New York
2005 Newzones,AAF, New York
2005 Newzones, Art Chicago, Chicago
2005 Birch Libralato, Art Chicago, Chicago
2005 Newzones, San Francisco International Art Fair. California
2004 Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto International Art Fair
2004 Robert Birch Gallery, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2004 Quiver Projects, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2004 Newzones Gallery, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2004 Newzones Gallery, Scope, New York
2004 Newzones Gallery, San Francisco International Art Fair, California
2004 Newzones Gallery, Art Chicago, Chicago
2003 Newzones Gallery, Scope, Miami, Florida
2003 Newzones Gallery, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2003 Quiver Projects, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2003 Newzones Gallery, Scope , Los Angeles, California
2003 Newzones Gallery, Art Chicago, Chicago
2003 Michael Gibson Gallery, AAF , London, UK
2002 Quiver Projects, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York
2002 New Zones Gallery, AAF Contemporary Art Fair, New York


Selected Awards

Canada Council Grants: 1981, 1882, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007
Ontario Arts Council Grants: 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998
Toronto Arts Council, 1994
Bertolt Brecht Fund of Berlin, 1985


Selected Collections

National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Ontario College of Art of Design, Kenderdine Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Art Gallery of Peterborough, MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, MacLaren Art Centre, Art Gallery of Kelowna, Canada Council Art Bank, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Stratford Art Gallery, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Regional Art Gallery of Rimouski, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto Hilton Hotel, Hart House, St. Michaels’ College, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Art Centre, Albright College, University of Pennsylvania: Friedman Gallery, Swedish Foundation Seattle, Washington.



Art Slant, Los Angeles 2013
Adelman, Shonagh. "Life Stories", Parachute, April 1990.
Alaton, Salem. "Gallery Goes to the Dogs," The Globe and Mail , 28 September 1985.
Baert, Renee, "Trames de Memoires", St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, (catalogue), 1996.
Baert, Renee, “The Dress: Bodies and Boundaries, Reinventing Textiles, Vol.2 Gender and Identity, Telos Press, London, 2002
Berins, Katarina, Catalogue Interview, Art Gallery of York University, June 1994.
Bradley, Jessica, Canadian Art, 2002
Campbell, Nancy. "Drawn From/Drawn Upon" C Magazine, Nov. 1989.
Cassidy, Victor M. “Art Chicago 2005” Artnet.com, April 29, 2005
Couelle, Jennifer, "Encore le corps mais cette fois, ethere," La Presse, Nov. 14, 1998.
Daley, Cathy. "Chromazone/Chromatique, Prototype." Identity 3, Spring 1982.
Daley, Cathy."Turn the Other Cheek . . ." C Magazine, Summer 1984.
Daley, Cathy. "Cover Art." Borderlines Magazine, Fall 1989.
Daley, Cathy. "Natural." Impulse Magazine, Spring 1990.
Daley, Cathy, "Live Girls" Fireweed Magazine, Fall 1994.
Daley, Cathy, "Live Girls", Mamary, Ann, ed., Cultural Activism, Political Voices, Poetic Voices, State University of New York Press, Buffalo.
Daley Cathy, “Artist Pages” Drawing insert, Border Crossings, Spring 2003
Dault, Gary, "Sass and Girl Power" Globe and Mail, Nov. 11, 1999.
Dault, Gary, “Pump up the Meaning” Globe and Mail, January 27, 2001.
Dowding, Martin. "Cathy Daley, Mercer Union." Vanguard, April 1984.
Enright, Robert, "Dress me up, Dress me down", BorderCrossings, Spring 1999.
Fabo, Andy. "Cathy Daley." Now, March 1982.
Feinstein, Roni, "Cathy Daley at Paul Petro" Art in America, February, 1996.
Fones, Robert. "The Imperative Voice." C Magazine, Summer 1984, no. 2.
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Jordan, Betty Ann, “Dress Codes and Weird Science”, Where Magazine, January 2001
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