05 March 2024

International Women’s Day: Interview with Chiara Dynys

In honour of International Women's Day, we have the pleasure of interviewing Chiara Dynys, an esteemed artist who has had a significant impact on the Italian contemporary art scene. It was almost a decade ago that Chiara selected Scala to license her artwork and handle her copyright, as she strived to share her uniquely imaginative work with audiences worldwide.

In honour of International Women’s Day, we have the pleasure of interviewing Chiara Dynys, an esteemed artist who has had a significant impact on the Italian contemporary art scene. It was almost a decade ago that Chiara selected Scala to license her artwork and handle her copyright, as she strived to share her uniquely imaginative work with audiences worldwide.

Introducing Chiara Dynys: A Brief Biography of the Artist

Chiara Dynys, was born in Mantua, and discovered her passion for art at a young age after being exposed to influential artists like Jeff Wall and Bill Viola. Her artistic journey revolves around the belief that art is more than just an object; it is also a space. Light serves as the medium through which she creates these spaces. Using materials such as glass, mirrors, video, and photography, Dynys crafts a personal and yet universally understandable metaphysics. Through her unique approach, she constructs poetic spaces that captivate and engage viewers on an intimate level.
Since the 1990s, Dynys has been traveling between Paris, Milan, New York, Germany and Syria. She has exhibited her work in various solo and group shows, both in Italy and abroad, at renowned public museums and private institutions. Her installations often feature symbolic forms that evoke concepts close to her heart, such as thresholds and books. Dynys considers the threshold as a representation of transcending boundaries, while books are her preferred tools for resolving contrasts.
Currently based in Milan, Dynys continues to create compelling artworks. Some of her recent notable works include “Presepe” at Casamadre Arte Contemporanea in Naples (November 23, 2023 – January 5, 2024), “Gate of Heaven” at Milan Malpensa Airport (October 18, 2023 – January 8, 2024), and ” L’ombra della luce” at MART in Rovereto (April 22 – August 27, 2023).
It is worth mentioning that in May 2023 Dynys generously donated her installation titled “Enlightening Grimoires” to the Fortuny Museum in Venice.
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the debut of the exhibition “Lo Stile” that will take place at the Dom Pérignon rooms of the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art. Curated by Chiara Squarcina, Alessandro Catiglioni, and Elisabetta Barisoni, the exhibition will be inaugurated with a press conference on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. This event coincides with the 60th edition of the Art Biennale.


Our March 8th for contemporary art

Chiara Dynys’ artworks can be found in significant public and private collections, such as Civiche Collezioni d’Arte in Milan, Mart in Rovereto, UBS Art Collection in Milan and Wolfsburg, Kunstasammlung in Weimar, Villa and Panza Collection in Varese, LAC in Lugano, and Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. Her works have been showcased in major museums and cultural institutions, both in Italy and internationally, including Quirinale contemporaneo, Museum Bochmun in Bochmun, Kunstmuseum in Bonn, Rotonda di Via Besana in Milan, Palazzo Reale in Milan, Central State Archives in Rome, GNAM – National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan, Correr Museum in Venice, Mattatoio in Rome, Berengo Foundation in Murano, and Casamadre Arte Contemporanea in Naples. She will be participating in the upcoming Venice Biennale, where her installation will be displayed at Ca’ Pesaro in the Dom Perignon rooms. 

In addition to collaborating with specialized workshops, Chiara Dynys enlists the support of assistants, fitters, and consultants to effectively manage her exhibition activities. Through her unique artistic approach, Dynys actively contributes to the representation of women in the art world, showcasing a distinct blend of originality, autonomy, and dynamism. This is precisely why Scala is thrilled to celebrate International Women’s Day with an exclusive interview featuring this exceptional artist. 

Chiara, would you like to share an anecdote or a story from your work as an artist that can help us better understand your style?

One particular anecdote that comes to mind and holds a strong metaphorical significance, is my lifelong fascination with experimenting with different materials. This alchemical obsession has always lingered within me. From a young age, I would apply oily colors resembling wax onto various types of paper, and then cover the entire surface with black ink or red lacquers. After allowing everything to dry, I would intricately engrave different worlds onto the surface, featuring fantastical creatures and a vibrant flora.

Light and colour are fundamental elements of your works. But they are also the basis of ours, as photographers. How did the collaboration with Scala come about, and what opportunities does it present? 

Light and color have always been the foundation of my artistic exploration. I incorporate various materials related to these elements, such as transparent synthetics like methacrylate and plexiglass, mirrored materials, and luminous materials as LEDs and neon. Photography and video naturally became part of my artistic expression. Scala Archives recognized the connection between all these elements, for example in my work on Canova’s “La Blancheur,” where I construct protruding forms – small rooms of time using mirrors and photos taken in Canova’s plaster cast gallery in Possagno.

Scala not only provides a platform to showcase my artwork to the world with stunning photographs and detailed descriptions that enhance visibility and appreciation, but they also offer comprehensive copyright management services, making the process of granting user licenses smooth. 

The artworks that you have chosen to entrust to Scala are not just figurative, they also convey concepts and ideas. As such they can serve as interesting content to illustrate covers. Have you ever thought about which writer or literary work you could associate your artworks with? 

One of the works that I imagined and created after reading an inspiring book is called “Go Away”. This artwork took inspiration from the book “White Holes” by Carlo Rovelli. The book explores the concept of black holes transitioning into white holes, delving into the quantum nature of time and space and the distinction between the past and the future. This idea both shocked and fascinated me.

I felt compelled to create four abstract works titled “Go Away”, symbolizing the act of surpassing, and transcending the limitations of time. Isn’t that what artists strive to do every day?

A question we always ask artists and photographers we interview: Choose an image from those licensed by Scala that most accurately reflects your artistic work. Additionally, feel free to share your thoughts or comments on the chosen image. 

Chiara Dynys, Enlightening Grimoires, 2022, Museo Fortuny, Venice. Photo Archivio Dynys/ Scala, Florence

Enlightening Grimoires:

This installation features 250 hand-painted sandblasted glass books in four colors that I have associated with the “magical colors” used by Mariano and Henriette Fortuny in their projects and fabrics. The colors include gold, white, black, and purple marbled with oxides. These color glass books are arranged on two long corten steel shelves, each approximately 6 meters in length, and are backlit with LED lights.

“Only a few books are illuminated, only a few books enlighten us in our existential journey.”

If you want to see all the images of Chiara Dynys’ work in the archive, connect to our website. For more information on copyright and licensing, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

In the cover: Glitter Gates, 2002 (installed at the Rotonda della Besana, Milan),
Danna and Giancarlo Olgiati Collection, Lugano, Switzerland. Photo Archivio Dynys/ Scala, Florence