Chiara Dynys

Chiara Dynys’ work seems increasingly to investigate artisanal materials and techniques that range from the banal to the exotic. In her recent exhibition, Dynys presented three distinct interventions. The walls of one room were entirely studded with irregular geometric solids whose concave forms suggested containers with oblique sides. The diagonals on which they were placed on the wall, as well as the way in which their forms were juxtaposed, animated the gallery space as well as the objects themselves, creating a strong sensation of movement. The lightness and luminosity of the materials—transparent or acid-colored resins mixed with mother-of-pearl powders—caused the solid forms to capture and reflect glimmers of light.

Another cycle of works comprised individual rhomboid-shaped elements painted tenuous reds, greens, others, or white—colors recommended for creating flesh tones in an eighteenth-century essay on pictorial techniques Dynys consulted. She obtained pigments in these hues from a manufacturer of soaps and cosmetics, and in creating these pieces employed the materials and procedures used in manufacturing bars of soap. The bas-reliefs she makes out of soap, an unusual and fragile material, connect an awareness of the body to the tradition of grand painting from the past and, as the work smells like common bars of soap, to the everyday banality of makeup and personal hygiene.

The most recent work—an odd, elongated object suspended from invisible threads—appeared alone in a separate room of the gallery. Made out of the kind of wood that is used to construct hang-gliders, as well as the canvas employed in kite-making, this piece could be seen as a metaphor for flight. Suspended in the air, the construction was no different from anactual kite—in fact, while it was intended only to suggest potential movement, if one so desired, it could also be flown.

Giorgio Verzotti

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.