Manifesting Paradise: High Priestess 2
This painting features a woman who doubles as an allegorical symbol drawn from the tarot. This work is part of the artist’s series Manifesting Paradise, a suite of twenty-two mixed media works on paper. Each work is based on a card from the Major Arcana (major mysteries), the foundation of the centuries-old tarot deck. Each “card” illustrates the artist’s interpretations of the allegorical symbols of the Major Arcana. Tarver continues a legacy preserved by a history of seekers, contributing to an archive of artists’ translations of the tarot—including Leonora Carrington’s Major Arcana paintings (1955); Betye Saar’s House of Tarot (1966); Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden (1979–2002).
Encompassing a variety of different mediums, Tarver's work questions the authenticity of our current social environment—as well as the dramatic changes it undergoes over time to continue to satisfy contemporary needs. The artist's compositions examine the present through the lens of the past, recognizing that the complexities of world history have compounded into modern-day realities and thereby affect how we address our future. Tarver's work weaves together personal references, Afro-futurist imagery and lush vegetation to depict a cast of Black subjects whose power and agency may alter the course of tomorrow.
Adrienne Elise Tarver’s interdisciplinary work questions the authenticity of our current environment. The artist’s work combines personal references, Afrofuturist imagery and lush vegetation in its depictions of Black subjects whose power and agency may alter the course of tomorrow. Tarver examines the present through the lens of the past, recognizing that world history’s complexities undergird our modern-day reality—as well as impact how we address our future.