Threshold: New Works by JIM WAID

January 6 - February 28, 2014

“When people consider the most distinguished contemporary artists working in Arizona today, Jim Waid is always at the top of the list,” Bentley Gallery founder and owner Bentley Calverley states. Many Arizonans are familiar with Waid’s critically acclaimed paintings, one of which is currently on view in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Great Hall.

In his paintings, Jim Waid attempts to convey the fundamental processes of nature:  growth, decay, life and death. Images that initially seem abstract slowly reveal themselves to be close-up views of various natural elements such as flora, insects and the Southwestern desert landscape. Multiple layers of paint are thickly applied and then selectively scraped away to reveal hidden images, as if on the threshold of something new and unexpected. Throughout this process, Waid allows different forms and colors suggest new ones. The result is a much a surprise for him as it is for the viewer. 

John Reyes of Bentley Gallery describes Jim Waid’s paintings: “The mastery of his subjects consistently push the boundaries of landscape painting, referencing elements from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting and Victorian botanicals. Their complexity - which clarifies his paintings’ formal values of line, form and color - transcend their physicality. Jim creates works that you truly can admire and live with.”

Born in Elgin, Oklahoma in 1942, Jim Waid received a BFA from the University of New Mexico in 1965 and an MFA from the University of Arizona in 1971. His paintings are in numerous public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Phoenix Art Museum; The Albuquerque Museum; J.P. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY; Nelson Fine Art Center, Arizona State University; Palm Springs Desert Museum; Superior Court Art Trust, Washington, DC; Tampa Museum of Art; Tucson Museum of Art; Utah Museum of Fine Arts; and many others. The artist lives in Tucson, Arizona.

JUN KANEKO: Black & White

January 6 - February 28, 2014

Many Arizonans are familiar with Jun Kaneko’s large-scale ceramic dango sculptures (Japanese for dumpling) at Sky Harbor Airport, and his ceramic tile wall in front of Phoenix Art Museum. Bentley Gallery will be exhibiting his monumental glazed dangos and heads covered in geometric shapes and pure color. The sculptures are made with large amounts of clay, slowly built by hand using the slab technique. The glazing on Kaneko’s new works are reminiscent of his classic dangos, punctuated by graphic polka dots, spirals, stripes, and zigzags in pure black and white. These rhythmic designs are analogous with the Japanese Shinto concept of the Ma, which loosely translates into “attachment through space.”


Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Kaneko came to the U.S. in 1963 and studied at the Chouinard Institute of Art. His innovative work is in more than 70 international museum collections including Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Detroit Institute of Arts; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Los Angeles County Art Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Art and Design, NY; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art in London.


This past summer, a large scale outdoor exhibition of Kaneko’s Tanuki sculpture (a symbol of fertility and prosperity) was installed at Millennium Park in Chicago. In 2012 his costumes, sets and lighting designs were featured in the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. He has also created costumes, sets, and video backdrops for Madame Butterfly, which began touring in 2006 and is still in production today. The artist lives in Omaha, Nebraska.


For more about Kaneko’s work, watch CBS News Sunday Morning’s “The giant, fanciful art of Jun Kaneko.”

GOLD RUSH Contemporary art that shifts cultural associations with the world’s most treasured metal.

December 6 2013 - January 4 2014

Bentley Gallery presents a group exhibition featuring works of art by 15 important artists who use some form of gold in their materials. From the beginning of human history, gold has elicited passion for its rarity, splendor and associations with wealth and power. In contemporary art, the attraction of using gold often has the same meaning and creativity that is traditionally associated with the precious material.

Gallery owner Bentley Calverley explains, “Gold inescapably triggers reactions, a potential which the artists participating in this exhibition address in diverse ways. The works in Gold Rush demonstrate that in contemporary art, the use of gold is not limited by subject matter, form, or style.”

Along with artists represented by Bentley Gallery, several internationally known galleries have collaborated to provide works for sale that follow the unique thread of the exhibition. These galleries include Galerie LeLong, Dillon Gallery, DC Moore Gallery, and Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York; Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, CA; Yares Art Projects in Santa Fe; and Etherton Gallery in Tucson.

John A. Reyes, Director of Secondary Market at Bentley Gallery and curator of the exhibition, describes gold as “a highly symbolic material that can be representative of modern themes. The artists featured in Gold Rush illustrate this beautifully in their work, through reassessments and deviations in content and associations, and by characterizing a new contemporary context for an ancient, revered material.”


Lita Albuquerque

Philip & Matt Moulthrop The distinctive work of 2 Generations of Georgia wood turners

Don Reitz  New Ceramic Works

April 2013

NeoChroma A contemporary survey of the use of brilliant color as emphasis in abstract painting

March 2013

John Sonsini New Paintings

February 2013