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.
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.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.