Quarles painted this piece in 2018, while listening to the news that the US government was separating families at the US/Mexico border under President Donald Trump’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’. She created the piece by making abstract marks and transforming them into figures, approximating digital drawing software in physical paint on canvas. The artist painted the piece while thinking of ‘how seemingly casual and careless the government was about something that had such significant psychological implications.’ Two figures appear to reach to each other through the hedge, and a third kneels, pushing themselves towards the barrier.
Please note that the largest size option for this image is 60 x 80 cm.
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: Acrylic paint on canvas 196 x 244.3 cm Tate. Presented by Peter Dubens 2019 © reserved
Christina Quarles (born 1985) is an American artist and writer. A queer woman of mixed African American and white parentage, her artworks explore themes of racial and sexual identities, gender, and queerness, often using abstracted human forms. She studied at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Hampshire College and earned an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art, completing a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016. She has written for several publications including Tate Publishing’s own David Hockney: Moving Focus
2021, and her piece Casually Cruel
, 2018 is part of Tate’s collection.