Namesake Study 1
This painting depicts a plantation on fire. The work stems from the artist's interest in origin stories. Tarver's own beginnings, like so many other Black Americans', is unclear. Despite how the Western idea of landscape can separate us from the land, many continuously seek and feel connections to specific places.
Tarver's research led her to photographs of the former Tarver Plantation, which was owned by Henry Tarver from 1850 until 1897. Hundreds of enslaved people farmed his 5,000 acres of land. In traditional decks of tarot, there is always a Tower card that depicts a tower being struck by lightning and engulfed in flames. The Tower symbolizes a moment of rebirth through great destruction. About this work, Tarver says: “Looking at the Tarver plantation, I realized it needs to go up in flames." The artist depicts the plantation house not restored, but engulfed in fire instead.
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.
This painting depicts a plantation on fire, evoking both the artist's own unclear origins—Tarver's name perhaps comes from the 5,000 acre Tarver plantation—as well as a card from the Major Arcana of the tarot. The Tower card symbolizes rebirth through great destruction.More
- Framed: 25.2 x 19.2 x 1.2 in.