University of South Florida home page

USF Main Links: A-Z Index | Campus Directory | Calendars | Search

USF Home > College of The Arts > Institute for Research in Art

Rico Gatson: Visible Time

June 2 – July 29, 2023
USF Contemporary Art Museum

EXHIBITION HOURS + ADMISSION // Special Hours: June 2, 6:30-9pm. Normal Hours: M-F 10am-5pm; Th 10am-8pm; Sa 1-4pm; Closed Su + Holidays (June 19; July 3-4). Admission: All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

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. 

Rico Gatson, Zora III (detail), 2023. Commissioned by USFCAM 2023. Photograph by Will Lytch.

Rico Gatson, Zora III (detail), 2023. Commissioned by USFCAM 2023. Photograph by Will Lytch.

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 former 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. Visible Time also includes important paintings and works on paper by Gatson, and features a mini-survey of the artist’s video works from 2001 to the present. 

Rico Gatson: Visible Time is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator-at-Large; and organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum. Visible Time is supported in part by the Lee & Victor Leavengood Endowment; the USFCAM ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons; Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture. The USF Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.



Rico Gatson Selects
Artist Rico Gatson has selected three films to screen at CAM in conjunction with the exhibition. These free events start with pre-movie popcorn and snacks at 6pm in front of the museum, and the films begin inside at 6:30pm.
6/22/23 - Foxy Brown Free Film Screening
7/13/23 - The French Connection Free Film Screening
7/27/23 - Do the Right Thing Free Film Screening



6/16/2023 - Time in a Feedback Loop - By Fatemah Tuwainah, Creative Pinellas

6/15/2023 - Visible Time at USFCAM - By Tom Winchester, Art Critter

6/2/2023 - Rico Gatson Interview on Art In Your Ear - By JoEllen Schilke, WMNF Radio

6/1/2023 - Artist Rico Gatson turns USF Tampa museum into celebration of Black heroes - By Sean Daly, ABC Action News, WFTS-Tampa

5/30/2023 - June arts roundup: Pride events, Juneteenth celebration and more - By Michele Smith, 83degrees

5/6/2023 - ‘Rico Gatson: Visible Time’ Exhibit Opens in June at The USF Contemporary Art Museum - Alive Tampa Bay


Rico Gatson, Sidney, 2022

Rico Gatson, Sidney, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery.


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, Austria, Vienna 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.  




View and download a pdf of the Rico Gatson: Visible Time exhibition workbook. The 32-page workbook is free to visitors to the exhibition, and includes an interview with the artist by Christian Viveros-Fauné, as well as an essay titled The Healing Force of the Universe: Using Music to Explore the Art of Rico Gatson by Mark Fredricks, Research Administrator. This essay is the first to consider the influence of music on Rico’s artwork in such detail. (4.5MB)



Explore this virtual 360 degree interactive walkthrough of Rico Gatson: Visible Time. For the best experience click the View Fullscreen icon in the lower right of the window. Virtual tour Courtesy of USF Access 3D Lab, Dr. Laura Harrison.


sponsor logos