"Gold Rush" at Phoenix's Bentley Gallery Is a Sophisticated Exploration of Gold's Materiality

I was a little unsure as I opened the heavy doors of Bentley Gallery's reconstituted warehouse space in downtown Phoenix. The gallery's latest show, "Gold Rush," sets out to "shift cultural associations with the world's most treasured metal." The show's official description goes on to talk about the role of gold as a culturally revered substance throughout history, but my own personal association with the stuff is a little different. When I think gold, I think gaudy.

I proceeded with caution, but quickly discovered that my hesitance was unwarranted. The show, curated by Bentley's director of secondary market, John Reyes, offers a diverse selection of contemporary work from 15 artists working in various media. All utilize real gold in their artistic processes.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katrina Montgomery