At 1969 Gallery, Mark Ryan Chariker Takes on Monochrome and Mystery

1969 Gallery has been a proud representative of the latest trends in US and international art for years. This Lower East Side establishment has been around since the end of 2016 and is named for the year in which the curator, Quang Bao, was born. More moderately scaled than the larger galleries one might stumble into in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, 1969 Gallery provides emerging and established artists with a perfectly-sized space for solo shows and smaller group exhibitions.

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view

Mark Ryan Chariker is one of those artists. Limbo is his first solo show in New York and features a number of new works with a darker, monochromatic theme. As an observer, one gets the overwhelming sense of  “inner psychological turmoil” within the characters. The tones of Chariker’s palette reinforce this feeling and add to the mystery of it all. Who are they? When is this? What is our own place in the scene?

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view

Long faces and rich depth distinguish this new work from his older etchings, which he says were influenced by Goya and other old masters. His contemporary take on renaissance style fantasy-scapes brings to mind the 16th-century painter, El Greco. He coaxes from his imagination nearly religious scenes, but ones in which the subjects mournfully peer up towards an ambiguous nothingness, again making us ask these existential questions posed above.

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view

Entitled Limbo, the show alludes to an intermediate state, either characteristic of the subjects Chariker paints or commenting on his own condition of the uncertainty.

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view

Chariker took some time off from art at the end of the aughts, and slowly reentered the field after a few years of introspection and contemplation. These works are, in part, an example of his reemergence. He depicts this otherworldly place of vagueness and variability open for interpretation.

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view

The current works on display are a far cry from his black and white printmaking and etchings from a few years ago. These mystifying frames invite the viewer to enter Limbo and connect with those woven into his chimeric narrative. His works have been evolving rapidly and it is exciting to see just what he might do next. Keep an eye out for our interview with the artist coming up in the next few months.

 

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo will be on view at 1969 Gallery through February 23, 2020.

Mark Ryan Chariker: Limbo
Installation view