Chiara Dynys

Ex Lanificio "Bona"

For nearly a decade Chiara Dynys has been constructing framelike, geometric forms that open out from the wall in a kind of failed trompe l’oeil. What might initially read as an exercise in the perfection of an inherited Minimalist grammar is actually an attempt to erase distinctions between different materials such as marble, “marmorino” (its painted equivalent), and wax combined with marble dust. Unlike that of her Minimalist forefathers, Dynys’ work aggressively attempts to retain and express a visual tradition through both history and place. Dynys claims this notion of place not only through her use of what becomes structural trompe l’oeil, but through the use of materials that directly engage the site she transforms.

Using red velvet and light, Dynys attempted to penetrate or cover the entire space and the resulting installation seemed to continue beyond its physical boundaries, just as her framelike, open containers with their false perspective evoke architectural spaces. Within the vast spaces of the gallery, a former wool factory, Dynys created three distinct environments dealing respectively with structure, form, and illusion. Each of these environments centered on the various red velvets used here and their relationship to the theater. In one area, Dynys covered seven columns with red-velvet sleeves to create an almost fencelike division. In the middle of the space, she constructed two distinct, boxlike “rooms”—separate spaces that opened onto each other—whose “walls” did not reach the ceiling. Within one of the rooms, Dynys installed 12 of her signature frames or boxlike works, each covered in a different red velvet. The partitions outlining the interior space of the second room were covered entirely in red velvet and illuminated with a red light that permeated the space. The theatrical use of multiplicity and difference in this work functioned in the same way as Dynys’ use of differing materials to represent the same thing, though here the emphasis on the seductiveness of red velvet also reflected an attempt to recapture the essence of a particular place.

Anthony Iannacci