Eventsi-collectSeen Beyond

Mike Berg, The Ship That Sailed


Mike Berg is traveling between Turkey and the US for almost 20 years. His works are playful abstractions in various forms. The exhibition brings together the artist’s metal sculptures, textile works, drawings and engravings.

“The Ship That Sailed” as a title seems to refer to ancient motives of the metaphor of a passage, while the artists work in general ironically juxtaposes any determination or designation of certain missions in his works.

“I am using the esthetics of calligraphy. I am fascinated by Japanese and Arabic scripts. Still I am not quoting anything concrete”, Mike Berg shared during a visit to adas (architecture, design, art space), a venue dedicated to a fusion of forms, materials and artistic practice.



American art critic Linda Yablonsky gets to the point in her comments on Berg’s works: “Berg is a kind of aesthetic anarchist, disrupting the natural processes of the decay and organizing his interventions into exquisitely layered abstraction.”

Turkish art critic Evrim Altuğ calls Berg “the alchemist of aesthetics” due to his “rational, calm, intrinsic, self-sufficient perspective on his works with an even more purified approach. He does this in a way that becomes clearer as it becomes simpler….”



Listening to Berg’s working process uncovers the engagement of a humanist soul navigating through the waves of current madness in world-politics. “Wherever you are currently, you have to find your spaceship of meaning”. The artist is working with different handcraft masters in the USA and in Turkey. Influenced by the Oriental culture’s non-narrative power of expression Berg is able to ad his own tradition of strong American expressive abstract art to a fruitful fusion.

Berg pays attention to every detail like the handmade hanging mechanism of the fragile acid-edged metal calligraphy works. Wool grinding is carefully fixing it to the wooden frames. ‘The Ship That Sails” takes you to different destinations and introduces terrifically created art forms enriched by excellent craftsmanship. 

location: adas-istanbul, mike berg, “the ship that sailed”, 23.12.18-28.02.19

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