MATT KEEGAN & JEDEDIAH CAESAR
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 RÃ©aliste 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 CÃ©sar, Arman's Noveau RÃ©aliste 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.