Rico Gatson artworks on view at USF in Tampa

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. The exhibition will be on view June 2 through July 29, 2023.

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, Rico Gatson will transform 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 will be 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 will additionally feature a mini-survey of the artist’s video works from 2001 to the present.

About the Artist

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.

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