As he did for his 2010 show, Jedediah Caesar pairs gorgeously hued cast-resin sculptures with drabber offerings in his latest outing, necessitating an unfortunate choice for viewers: Fall back on enjoying the now-familiar resin pieces, or try to engage the work that’s not as compelling.
Caesar creates the former by embedding found objects (in this case, rocks collected in the Mojave Desert) into blocks of variously colored resins, before slicing the forms like a loaf of bread to reveal whatever formal arrangements chance created. The latter are represented here by three bulky, sand-castle-like sculptures made of clay, stamped with the imprint of various hard-to-identify items sourced in New York. The impressions left behind include wedge shapes, dots and dents suggesting a little pig sticking its nose where it didn’t belong. Unlike the resin pieces, which have an insect-trapped-in-amber allure, the clay works seem inert, presenting a sense of disconnection in lieu of a poetic evocation of absence.
For some of his previous resin pieces, Caesar sawed off thin tiles to form stacks, or grids on the walls. Here the highlight consists of similar rectangles assembling into a baseboard around the gallery, proceeding in the order in which they were originally cut. This affords an opportunity to see how various patterns unfold and surprising associations arise. Klimt’s jewellike decorations come to mind, but at heart, Caesar’s process is about making the mundane seem extraordinary—or at least aesthetically pleasing.—Merrily Kerr