'Rico Gatson: Visible Time' at USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa

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'Rico Gatson: Visible Time' at USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa
Rico Gatson, Zora III (detail), 2023. Commissioned by USFCAM 2023. Photograph by Will Lytch.



TAMPA, FLA.- The USF Contemporary Art Museum, part of the Institute for Research in Art in the USF College of The Arts, presents Rico Gatson: Visible Time. For more than two decades, Brooklyn-based artist Rico Gatson has been celebrated for his vibrant, colorful, and layered artworks. Inspired by significant moments in African American history, identity politics and spirituality, his oeuvre includes images of protests and longstanding injustices—touching on subjects like the murder of Emmett Till, the Watts Riots, and the formation of the Black Panthers—as well as dynamic abstract geometries that celebrate Pan-Africanist aesthetics and Black cultural and political figures.

In late May, Gatson transformed the walls of the USF Contemporary Art Museum with a kaleidoscopic, life-size image of Zora Neale Hurston—author, anthropologist, filmmaker, and Florida resident—along with a large-scale abstract composition. USF students were invited to paint alongside the artist to help complete the installation inspired by the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. While Visible Time also includes important paintings and works on paper by Gatson, the exhibition additionally features a mini-survey of the artist’s video works from 2001 to the present.

Rico Gatson (b. 1966, Augusta, GA) is a multimedia visual artist whose work explores themes of history, identity, popular culture, and spirituality, through sculpture, painting, video, and public art projects. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Essl Museum, Vienna, Austria, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. In 2019, Gatson completed an important commission for New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority titled Beacons; it consists of eight permanent large-scale mosaics of prominent Black figures installed in the 167th Street Subway station in the Bronx. His work is also featured in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Denver Art Museum, The Cheekwood Museum, The Kempner Museum, and The Yale University Art Gallery.

Rico Gatson: Visible Time is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné and organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum. The exhibition is supported in part by the Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture. The USF Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.










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