Chester Arnold
Kingdom Come, 2008
Jacquard tapestry
79 x 102 in
Edition of 8

Kingdom Come, a tapestry edition by acclaimed Bay Area painter Chester Arnold, reflects both the staggering volume of objects with which we surround ourselves and the way the shapes and colors of these objects serve as memory’s touchstones. The tapestry continues Arnold’s Accumulation series, which emerged from an exercise Arnold has been giving his students for years: they are instructed to faithfully reproduce every object they can think of, working only from memory. Its title has both apocalyptic and utopian implications, giving the impression that these objects are perhaps the remnants which will ultimately outlive us, or on the other hand, meaningful and lost items with which we will be reunited someday. Their arrangement in a dense, seemingly limitless cluster extending beyond the edges of the tapestry suggests a watershed moment, a rising tide of things which overwhelms our capacity for containment and order. As the objects crowd each other, they lose their distinct identities and merge into one united field, just as discrete memories and events add up to what we perceive as a single, continuous lifetime.