Esser was part of the Dutch "Groep van de figuratieve abstractie" (Figurative abstraction group). He won a silver medal at the Prix de Rome in 1938, and became a professor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam in 1947.
Troelstramonument (monument to Pieter Jelles Troelstra) in The Hague (1953)
Watersnood 1953 (North Sea flood of 1953) in sculpture garden of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1957)
Brederomonument (monument to Gerbrand Adriaensz Bredero) in Amsterdam (1968)
Icarus in The Hague (1974)
Barmhartige Samaritaan (Good Samaritan) in Utrecht (1976)
Statue of Cornelis Lely in Lelystad (1984, erected 2002 but removed at sculptor's request in 2003)