Monday, March 9, 2009

Recent press on "Signs of the Apocalypse / Rapture"

“Rapture: (noun) A feeling of intense pleasure or joy. It’s the word that the Chicago publisher, Doug Fogelson had in mind when he assembled Signs of the Apocalypse / Rapture (Front Forty Press; $65), a sometimes brooding and other times bright compendium of art on the twin themes. Local artists Cody Hudson, Carrie Schneider and Eduardo de Soignie are among those showcased; the accompanying soundtrack featuring Sonic Youth, among others.”

– Chicago Magazine, March 2009

“There’s a ton of fine work in Front Forty Press’s Signs of the Apocalypse / Rapture, a coffee-table collection of pieces on the title themes by 74 visual artists and solo musicians, ten bands, and a Web site. In the ‘Apocalypse’ section, painter Till Gerhard’s ‘Pink Apocalypse’ depicts seven apparently undead kids, knee-deep in water while pink light seems to rain down around them—a funny, classically composed conflation of gay utopia and zombie Armageddon. Emilio Perez’s ‘Born All Over’ shows swirling, goopy abstractions mingling and rushing together, with twisted faces almost but not quite taking shape in the muck. Over in ‘Rapture,’ Francesca Sundsten’s oil-on-canvas ‘Birdland’ is a serenely creepy mix of Magritte, Boccaccio, and Audubon—a nude, bird-headed woman in a natural landscape, surrounded by formally posed, rather dead-looking fowl.

The sonic material is on two CDs curated by David Castillo, Front Forty director Doug Fogelson, and Robert A.A. Lowe. It’s a little disappointing: an end-of-days compilation should include some bluegrass, gospel, and satanic death metal, dammit. Barring that, though, I was happy enough to listen to Om’s doomy trance sludge, Jana Hunter’s spooky, twee harmonic weirdness, and even Sonic Youth being Sonic Youth…”

– Chicago Reader, January 2009