Tessa Mars

The other side (2017)
Acrylic and Collage on canvas
40.6 x 50.8 cm

The colourful, broadly figurative, flat style paintings by Haitian artist Tessa Mars often feature a semi-autobiographical character — and deal in complex ideas about identity and freedom.


Fauna and flora III (2019)
Acrylic on paper
40.6 x 30.5 cm

The colourful, broadly figurative, flat style paintings by Haitian artist Tessa Mars often feature a semi-autobiographical character — and deal in complex ideas about identity and freedom.


Biography

Haitian artist Tessa Mars explores identity, first through the lens of language and gender and more recently by questioning geography and history. She is interested in how Haitian history, customs and rituals inform our identity as a people and how we express it collectively and individually.  Her work investigates notions of patriotism, sovereignty and confronts them to the reality of Haitian daily life. It raises questions about how the legacy of Haiti’s revolutionary past shapes our society, about the transmission and loss of memory, about strategies individuals come up with to reconcile past and present. It also raises questions about womanhood, freedom and the fight for it. (source: RU Residency)

Solo exhibits include: 2019 – Manman Zile: Île Modèle: Island Template, at Le Centre d’Art, Port au Prince, Haiti; 2016- « Tessalines and I», French Institute, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Selected collective exhibits 2016- «Afrotopia», Art Africa Miami Arts Fair during Art Basel, Miami, USA. 2016- Caribbean Linked IV, Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba. 2014- «Rencontre», Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, Port-au-Prince, Haïti. 2012- «30th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul», Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada. 2011- « Haïti Kingdom of This World », 54th Venice Biennale, 1st Haitian Pavillon Residencies 2016- Caribben Linked IV, Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba. 2015- Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 2012- «30th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul», Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada. 2011- «Cité international des arts» – Paris, France

Tessa Mars completed her bachelor in Visual Arts in France, at Rennes 2 University in 2006. From 2006 to 2013 she worked as a Cultural projects coordinator at Fondation AfricAméricA. Since 2013 she has been solely focused on developing her career as an artist. Her work has been exhibited in Haïti, Canada, France, Italy and the United States. In 2020 she started her residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

Select Permanent Collections: Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, Haiti

Selected Museum Exhibitions

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