Selected works by Jedediah Caesar

Jedediah Caesar
Dry Stock


Urethane resin, polyester resin, pigment, aluminium, titanium, wood, and mixed media. 29 panels (28 installed, 1 leaning)

Approximately 7 1/2 x 17 1/2 feet x 3/4 inches
Comprised of 29 individual panels assembled as one large piece, Jedediah Caesar’s Dry Stock is a ‘painting’ that might best be described as a sculpture. To make this work Caesar collected the dirt and other items meant for the trash from carpentry and metal cutting factories and used them as ‘pigments’ and readymade shapes of colour and texture for his abstraction. Sealing these within a large solid block of resin which was then sliced into thin segments, the tiny objects suspended in the work’s surface give the effect of giant microscopic slides. Presented in chronological order, the tableau reads from top to bottom like a film strip, scrutinizing the dissected progression of objects in space. Through recycling the inevitable waste of production, Caesar approaches making as a form of hyper-efficiency, transforming excess and offscourings into an infinitely detailed and beautiful abstraction.
Jedediah Caesar
Untitled (Glyph Cube)


Wood, polystyrene, resin

40.6 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm
Using the archetypical minimalist cube as a departure point for embellishment, Caesar’s Untitled (Glyph Cube) is made from discarded objects cast in a block of resin; the rectangular shape is cut from a larger mass to reveal the textures and colours of the embedded materials.
With the varied patterns replicating drawing, carving, or fossil formations, Caesar transforms a cube’s expected visual purity into a platform for information overload. The sculpture’s battered looking facades are reminiscent of both ancient hieroglyphs and street graffiti, posing suggestive coded meanings and narratives.
Jedediah Caesar
Untitled (White Domino)


Resin, pigment, studio detritus

5 parts, dimensions variable, each piece approx 38.1 x 38.1 cm
Caesar’s Untitled (White Domino) progresses the strategies of process art, creating finished pieces which are conceptually streamlined and aesthetically savvy. Cut from the same block,
each of the components is a cross section exposing the various materials suspended in the tinted resin, giving the impression of prehistoric drawings or excavated treasures found in slabs of exotic minerals. Presented in a henge-like arrangement, Caesar’s sculptures pose as luxuriant ruins, eliciting mysticism and wonder from a contemporary ‘archaeology’.
Jedediah Caesar
Helium Brick (detail)


Polyester resin, polystyrene, pigment, wood

132.1 x 132.1 x 254 cm
Caesar’s Helium Brick cleverly conceives the act of making as a process of decay. The large block structure is made from Styrofoam which was then coated with Caesar’s trademark
coloured resin. Reminiscent of Gustav Metzger’s Auto-Destructive art, the two chemically incongruous materials reacted, and the Styrofoam was eaten away, creating an strange stucco-like surface. Mounted on shipping crates Helium Brick looms with alien presence, its texture suggesting something biological and unnatural, framing his sculpture as a specimen of dubious origin.


New York Times, September, 2007 by THE NEW YORK TIMES

One irrefutable rule of the permanent avant-garde seems to be that everything comes back around if you wait long enough, so congratulations are in order for Los Angeles artist Jedediah Caesar (b. 1973), who has revived Arman's classic Nouveau Réaliste method of encasing everyday stuff in clear resin and then presenting it as sculpture.

While Arman's art is about the "consumption of mass quantities" (as the Coneheads would put it several decades later), Caesar - could he have found artistic inspiration in his own name, which he shares with the late French assemblagist César, Arman's Noveau Réaliste compatriot? - seems to prefer studio detritus.

What's more, Caesar cuts his blocks of resin-and-trash into thin, pictorial slices, like some kind of industrial-era fruitcake. His installation at D'Amelio Terras, called "Three Views from Space," includes a wall of 24 of these panels, measuring 29 x 24 in. each (213 x 73 in. overall), faced by an upholstered recliner chair that is surrounded by refuse as if it were ready to be resinized. Accessorizing the scene is a kind of "planter" - a resin cube of organic matter with dried plants sprouting from it.

Thus, the artist's enterprise is presented as a rather drab and fragmented amalgam of a fairly random and hardly integrated studio practice. Roberta Smith wrote in the New York Times that it might be too gimmicky, but it sounds just right to me. The large wall piece is priced at $32,000, while the chair is $23,000. A sole single slab of resin was priced at $5,000, and marked sold.