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07 // 27 // 2022

In-Focus: Tomás Esson

Starts July 27, 2022 @ 1:30pm , Ends July 27, 2022 @ 2:30pm

Weekly tours focus on a different artist featured in The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art. Check the calendar to learn which artist will be discussed each week. For July 27, we will be highlighting Tomás Esson. Free with paid gallery admission. Pre-registration is encouraged.


Tomás Esso is notorious for his gestural paintings featuring grotesque humor and political commentary. Along with artists like José Bedia, Ruben Torres Llorca, and Glexis Novoa, Esson is part of the “Generation of the 80s,” artists who came of age in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. Many of these artists, including Esson, have since emigrated. Esson has fused mythology, sexualized imagery, and political caricature in his work, to sharply criticize the failures of the Revolution.

Esson’s work was showcased in a number of controversial exhibitions in the late 1980s, as he became a central figure in the decade’s renaissance in Cuban art and began to exhibit internationally. Esson was featured in the 1989 Cuenca and Havana biennials. Following censorship of his work in Cuba, he moved to the United States in 1990. He has continued to incorporate erotic themes in the decades since, moving toward abstraction in the 2010s. His institutional group exhibitions include shows at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (2009) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2017). The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, presented the artist’s first museum solo show in 2020–21. His work is in the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany; and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico.


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