Nathan Bertling’s paintings describe a Southern view that we’ve all seen—empty spaces recently vacated, objects temporarily set aside, a sun-drenched corner lot that has seen better days. But these spaces, when translated by Bertling, are anything but dour. A classically trained painter who works in a variety of media in the plein air tradition, Bertling presents both landscapes and portraits in his solo exhibition Passing Through at Centre Stage. Through his keen attention to light, shadow, and color, Bertling sculpts realistic form from empty canvas. Similar to twentieth-century painter Edward Hopper, the artist’s work seems to simultaneously reveal everything while also holding something back. Just as his landscapes translate familiar spaces into moments of unexpected beauty, so too do his portraits, which seem to capture those unguarded moments when his sitters are most vulnerable. Stillness seems to be a unifying subject in a body of work that celebrates seeing, breathing, living.
Passing Through: Paintings & Drawings by Nathan Bertling will be on display at Centre Stage through April 29. The gallery is located at 501 River St, Greenville, and is open Tuesday–Friday, 2–6pm. (864) 233-6733, centrestage.org