New York

Michael Bergt

Midtown Payson Galleries

Michael Bergt’s multifaceted exhibition—panels of egg tempera on gesso, large bronzes, a room full of etchings—aptly demonstrated his enormous technical proficiency. Everything in it looked great from the far side of the room. The work was animated, colorful, highly polished. You immediately sensed its possibilities, and wanted to like it.

Bergt’s paintings have such an unearthly beauty—the details and skyscapes of Northern Renaissance altarpieces, lovely colors, odd architectural and structural details—that they seem to promise a new vision, some strange conjunction of social realism and Renaissance painterly technique. It’s no coincidence that the catalogue essay is written by Paul Cadmus, or that a gorgeous small painting by Isabel Bishop hung in the next room. Bergt seems well in line with a certain New York tradition that will always have a following. In fact, given Bergt’s talent,

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