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Europa by Michael Bergt, Ink & Gold on Paper, 12x17
Solo Exhibition 
May 29 - June 16, 2023 
Opening Reception
Thursday, June 1, 6:00 - 9:00pm
Meet the Artist at Opening Reception
Artist Talk at 8:00pm 

Dacia Gallery cordially invietes you to Gold Series: Internal Dialogues, a spectacular solo exhibition of ink drawings and gold by Michael Bergt. The figures represent archetypes, an ideal of the human condition playing out this dance/drama of life. Gold represents the spiritual aspect of this journey. What’s ethereal, unconscious, essentially our inner thoughts/desires. Things that we need to acknowledge or bring to the surface. An aspect of the sacred in the profane, not something we can easily deny or ignore anymore. Underwater/above water is a metaphor for the unconscious and conscious state we occupy. Koi represent mysterious unconscious stirrings swimming beneath the surface, Cranes represent elegant higher states swirling above and around us. The Koi are “gasping” with desire, while the Cranes are often swooping to capture. At times, these two are careening towards one another. The bull and dolphin can represent the phallus, (the drive for realization) the squid and octopus represent multiple phallus/arms desiring to embrace and hold. The figures are often interacting in some way with these elements, touching, riding, swimming with them. How the figures interact and respond to these entities says what role they’re playing; are they a part of awakening or are they accepting the drama for what it is? At some point, surrender becomes a key element in the drama, they are fully participating in the play. Do they see the spiritual underpinnings of all actions, and can they surrender to that?


Michael Bergt is a figurative artist whose work has been in a deep dialogue with art history over the course of his more than forty-year career. Working across drawing, sculpture, and primarily egg tempera painting, Bergt currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has had major exhibitions in New York, San Francisco and Santa Fe. Bergt has works in the permanent collection of: The Arnot Museum, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Crystal Bridges Museum, Currier Museum, Evansville Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco—de Young Museum, Frye Art Museum, Kalamazoo, Museum.


There is a saying that something is golden when it’s the best of its kind, manifesting all that is good and pure. Throughout history, alchemy was defined as the ability to transform base metals into gold. For centuries, gold was the major measure of wealth. In religious icons, gold represented the ethereal light of God. Beyond these symbolic meanings, gold applied to a smooth surface also has specific physical properties. Gold reflects light, meaning it becomes luminous with the ambient light, when burnished, it acts as a mirror. In a dark setting or under raking light, any line work or tooling in the gold becomes easy to read. It is these physical properties along with the metaphorical meanings, that drew me to using gold in my artwork. When I use gold in my art, it represents our internal world, a reflection of the unconscious and a mystical/spiritual aspect of our human experience. The line work I do in the gold, has an ethereal quality because depending on the ambient light, one can see the drawing, or it disappears from the heat of reflected light. The figures in my works, are archetypes for the human experience, and we have a choice here; do we wish to acknowledge the full range of experiences we’re submerged or surrounded by, or do we deny and ignore them? Sometimes our role is to participate in the awakening of these influences, other times, to simply surrender to what is. These are both very personal and collective journeys, the true meaning of archetypes.


Bergt’s artwork is inspired by early Renaissance painting techniques, classical mythology, religious and spiritual imagery—all inform his interpretation of the contemporary human condition. While grounded in art historical and classical painting traditions, Bergt also profoundly breaks from these as he creates his own cast of mythic characters with their own poetic inclinations and relationships informed by modern dialogues around pressing topics such as gender and sexuality."

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