This week, Bentley Gallery added a new artist to their already impressive roster. Jonathan Cross is a recent MFA graduate from ASU, who spent time working as a studio assistant to Don Reitz, another ceramicist represented by Bentley.
Cross joins the ranks of popular sculptors Jun Kaneko and James Marshall, whose work is currently on view in Bentley Gallery's August group exhibition.
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At Jackalope Ranch, we were first introduced to Jonathan Cross by Big Brain award winner Becky Nahom and her curating partner Julia Bruck in Halt Gallery's November 2013 exhibition "Roaming with Abandon". At the time, Nahom emphasized Cross' interest in the clay he uses and his connection to the materiality of his work.
The same remains true today. In a recent press release, Bentley Gallery describes a bit about Cross's process: "Raw clay is hewn and assembled in shifting slabs that balance between heavy masses and thin slices. The work is further altered during firing, as different patinas of wood or soda ash are slowly deposited on each piece. The result is a quiet mix of ancient and modern minimal aesthetics."
In the end, it's this minimalism that makes his work so intriguing. The pieces may appear simple at first glance, but they do not lack complexity. Cross is definitely an artist you'll want to keep an eye on.