Artist creates visual display of time with daily materials

Artist Jedediah Caesar will be discussing his unique art this Thursday at 6 p.m. The speech is open and free to the public and will take place at the UMFA. Photo Courtesy Mindy Wilson
Artist Jedediah Caesar will be discussing his unique art this Thursday at 6 p.m. The speech is open and free to the public and will take place at the UMFA.
Photo Courtesy Mindy Wilson

At first glance, Jedediah Caesar’s art might seem archaic and even messy. However, upon closer examination, the details and individual objects combine seamlessly to create an intriguing holistic view.
Using resins, clay, metals and wood, Caesar manipulates materials into abstract sculptures and compositions to tell a story of time through his art. Based in Los Angeles, Caesar is an innovative artist who uses mundane material around him to create pieces of art.
Caesar, whose work is currently featured at the UMFA, will be presenting a public lecture this Thursday. He will discuss his work, including “*|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_” which will be on view in the UMFA’s Phyllis Cannon Wattis Gallery for Twentieth Century Art through July.
The process Caesar uses to create his work is unique to say the least. He assembles the materials he has gathered and sets them in resin. Caesar then slices the hardened blocks to reveal the embedded components. The resulting sculpture represents a reorganization of time and place that blurs the lines between abstract and real, painting and sculpture, old and new, inside and out.
“Students interested in creative work of any kind, from visual art to writing, will gain insights into the creative process from this successful working artist,” said Mindy Wilson, public relations and marketing manager for the UMFA.
Caesar has been described as an archeologist of the present. His signature manner of breaking down daily materials and transporting them back to their initial state has become well-known in the art industry. Time plays an active role in all of his pieces.
Another element of Caesar’s work that sets him apart is the versatility in its presentation. Many of his pieces have flexible installation formats. This includes “*|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_” which can be displayed as a single piece or in various arrangements of individual parts.
Caesar’s work was selected in November as part of the Museum’s Friends of Contemporary Art — formerly called Young Benefactors. Each year, the Museum’s Friends of Contemporary Art acquire a new contemporary artwork for the permanent collection. The UMFA’s curator of Contemporary Art and members of FoCA’s executive committee nominate artists and pieces, and FoCA council-level members gather at a black tie dinner to vote and acquire one of the three finalists’ pieces.
“Members of the Friends of Contemporary Art are very enthusiastic about Caesar’s work and have been eager to see it in our permanent collection galleries,” Wilson said. “We think the general public is going to find this sculpture as compelling as we do.”
Caesar’s work was included in the prestigious 2008 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, and he has had recent solo exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts.
Caesar will be discussing his art and presenting “*|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_” this Thursday at 6 p.m. The speech is open and free to the public.