Category Archives: Exhibitions

ART Basil King Exhibitions News Poetry Readings

Celebrating Allen Ginsberg

June 3 @ 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Howl Happening Gallery

For Allen Ginsberg’s 91st birthday, Howl! Happening is holding a celebration that includes the re-release of Allen Ginsberg & William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience; music by Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Ernie Brooks, Bear 54; poetry readings by Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, Bob Rosenthal, David Henderson, Basil King, a group reading of “Howl” and more.

From Basil King’s Allen Ginsberg Suite, ballpoint pen on music paper.

 

Among the other surprises, the gallery will project seventeen drawings by Basil King (“The Allen Ginsberg Suite”). They were done in 1972 to accompany a special project by Allen honoring Jack Kerouac. Some were published in Mulch magazine #4, 1973, and in the Mulch Press book Visions of the Great Rememberer, 1974, and shown at the University of Kansas Museum, Lawrence, Kansas in 1974. Others have never been shown!

Howl! Happening

6 East 1st Street
New York City, 10003

FREE

ART Basil King Exhibitions News

Basil King at John Molloy AND on Pier 36 for Art on Paper

Basil’s “Bird Script” exhibition opens at John Molloy Gallery on Saturday, February 25, 5 – 7 pm.    John Molloy Gallery, 49 East 78th Street, Suite 2B, New York City.The show continues until March 31. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday, 11 am to 7pm; Saturday 11am to 5pm.  Click here for more 

Perch. Mixed media on canvas, 34″ x 48″ – Basil King, 2016

Several of Basil’s multimedia on paper works will be at the John Molloy booth in the Art on Paper Show, Pier 36, March 3-5.  Preview Thursday, March 2, public hours Friday–Sunday, March 3-5.

For hours, directions, and admission prices, see the Paper Show website.

Art on Paper, 2016–it gets quite a crowd.
Mixed media on Stonehenge paper, with frame, 27 x 40. Basil King, 2015

Local Knowledge interviews Basil and Martha King about Basil’s birds.Questions from editor/publisher Sanjay Agnihotri on the Local Knowledge magazine’s website.

Read Local Knowledge!

 

 

 

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Exhibitions Martha King museums News Poetry Readings

NEWS: Basil King exhibition SOON

Basil King: Between Painting and Writing — September 2 to December 24 in Asheville, NC

Curated by Vincent Katz and Brian Butler, at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center, Asheville, NC.

This show will include paintings using images from playing cards, texts of King’s poetry, his covers for poetry books and journals, along with a large selection of his works on paper. He’ll give a poetry reading and there will be a screening of the Nicole Peyrafitte & Miles Joris-Peyrafitte film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” on September 1.  King will do a ‘walk-through’ talk on his work at the opening on September 2.

On Sunday, September 4, Martha and Basil will share their experiences reading and editing each other’s work.  Workshop will include brief readings, critiques, and audience discussion of process.

For more information: info@blackmountaincollege.org

From the Queens: Queen of Hearts/The Academic.  Mixed media on canvas, 2010
From the Queens: Queen of Hearts/The Academic.
Basil King, mixed media on canvas, 2010

 

 

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Exhibitions Martha King museums News Poetry Writing

NEWS: Exhibitions of Basil King art in 2016 –17

Exhibitions of Basil King art in 2016 – 17

 Opening September 2, 2016: Basil King: Between Painting and Writing curated by Vincent Katz and Brian Butler, at the Black Mountain College Museum &Arts Center, Asheville, NC.   Open until December 31, 2016.

Queen of Hearts - Highway Obstacle, one of the "Cards" series to be shown in Asheville
Queen of Hearts – Highway Obstacle, one of the “Cards” series to be shown in Asheville

This show, will also include texts of King’s poetry and some of his covers for poetry books and journals, along with paintings using images from playing cards.

For more information: info@blackmountaincollege.org

 

Opening October 28, 2016: Basil King’s Birds curated by Tom Patterson, at St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC. Open until November 19, 2016.

This show, focusing on King’s bird images, is part of a semester-long Black Mountain College Festival, with many exciting artists in residence for short visits.

For information and schedules: Ted Wojtasik – wojtasik@sa.edu or Whit Griffin –    kudzuking@yahoo.com

These two North Carolina events overlap for the duration of the St.Andrews show. Laurinburg and Asheville are 230 miles apart, a drive of about four hours.

 

Opening February 25, 2017: Art of Basil King

John Molloy Gallery, 49 East 78th Street, 2nd floor, New York.

This will be the first solo New York exhibition of Basil King’s work since his historic exhibition of “Green Man” paintings at Poets House in 2010.

 

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Critique Exhibitions Green Man Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) museums News Poetry Prose Readings Writing

The YEAR 2015

Just got (unrequested) a look back at 2015 from Facebook, hitting not much of much interest. Thus am prodded to do my own.

February – Baz reads at the Dia Foundation with the wonderfully multi-talented multi-named Pam Dick (Mina, Gregoire, et al) in celebration of the 2014 publication of his The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand. Marsh Hawk Press.  Available at SPD and elsewhere. (Probably even ABE’s for the pennysavers.)

 Basil King’s … mashups of art, culture, and lived experience, both minute and momentous challenge the reader out of conventional notions of art history, by a continuous attention to detail. . . .” — Kevin Killian

April – At the AWP meeting in Minneapolis. Martha speaks in a panel discussion, organized by Martha, about the influence of Black Mountain today, with C.S. Giscombe, Burt Kimmelman, Lee Ann Brown, and Vincent Katz. Later a terrific reading by Baz and C.S. Giscome and a larger group reading also including Sam Truit, Kim Lyons, Burt Kimmelman, and more, at James and Mary Laurie Booksellers

AprilIn conjunction with AWP, “Basil King: MIRAGE” a film by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte is screened at the Walker Art Center.

May – Baz is 80 years old.

June – New York premier of selections from George Quasha’s monumental Poetry Is project at Anthology Film Archives includes Quasha’s interview with Baz.

June– Martha returns to poetry with work in Bone Bouquet, 6.1. Still available:  http://www.bonebouquet.org/issue-6-1/   So too is Bone Bouquet 6.2 just out this fall. One way to reassure oneself that the era of adventurous magazine publishing is far from over is to check out this magazine.

November – Martha’s memoir Outside Inside – that is 50 pages of it, expertly excerpted and condensed by Brigid Hughes, is featured in issue 22 of A Public Space magazine.With photos of the long ago that seem fresh.  Issue 22 –print or digital—can be ordered here: http://apublicspace.org/magazine

December  short podcasts of Baz reading the following poems – and one personal recollection of TV in the early 1950s. Go here! https://soundcloud.com/joseph-terranella/sets/basil-king-2015

Basil’s Lifeboat   (1 minute 23 seconds)

Inside Delacroix’s Garden (2 minutes 14 seconds)

The Butterfly and the Rat (2 minutes 32 seconds)

Looking for the Green Man (3 minutes 53 seconds)

Highway Obstacle (4 minutes 11 seconds)

Channeling 3 – (4 minutes 18 seconds)

The Americans – The Immigrants   (6 minutes, 48 seconds)

Grey – complete (14 minutes 27 seconds)

Working in TV – from an interview (2 minutes 46 seconds)

AND MUCH TO COME IN 2016, including BASIL KING ART at the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, Asheville, N.C., opening SEPTEMBER 2.

Bone Bouquet, Spring 2015
Bone Bouquet, Spring 2015
Martha King reading . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.
Martha King reading in Minneapolis . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.
Baz reading at the Dia Foundation9
Baz reading at the Dia Foundation. Photo by Garth Davidson.
At the Walker Museum, April 2015
At the Walker Museum, April 2015
ART Basil King Critique Exhibitions Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Poetry Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

NEWS: Events, Publications, and a Show — November 2014

November 6 at 6:30.   Basil will read from his new book, The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand (Marsh Hawk Press, 20l4*) and his old friend Hettie Jones will read some of her not-yet published short fictions.  They are both being presented by Prose Pros at Side Walk Café, Avenue A @ 6th Street. (Free, donations requested.)

Front cover of King's The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand
Front cover of King’s The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand

 

November 16 at 3:00Martha King and Basil King will read from new work published in Local Knowledge, Fall 2014, a biannual literary magazine featuring art, photographs, poetry, and prose of many kinds and variations. Basil is represented by “Basil’s Lifeboat” from his “Learning to Draw” series. Martha appears twice: in a note on dead cats and in “It Starts to Drizzle,” a history of her zine Giants Play Well in the Drizzle. Gala magazine launch & reading at Swift Hibernian, 34 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Lafayette.(Free, purchase of magazine requested.)

Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge, fall 2014
Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge, fall 2014

 

November 20, 21, 22, and 23.  Three evening performances at 7:30 and one final matinee at 3:00.   Basil will be the Narrator in “Black Mountain Songs” – a program of music by seven young composers, inspired by artists associated with Black Mountain College.  The Brooklyn Youth Chorus sings. Part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s annual NEXT WAVE festival. Tickets sell out quickly. If you want to attend, please connect with BAM.

http://www.bam.org/BlackMountainSongs

A painting by Basil King (from his “Looking for the Green Man” series) will be in the BAM lobby exhibition until January 2015.

*There will be a reading and book launch for Marsh Hawk Press’s full fall list in December. http://www.marshhawkpress.org/BKing3.html

 

 

 

ART Basil King Exhibitions Martha King News

Fall Now–and Summer Was

 

Sag Harbor
Sag Harbor

Three trips this summer:

1) To Sag Harbor, where the factory in which  a large cohort of young working women licked the brushes they used to paint glow-in-the-dark watch faces. They later died horribly of radium poisoning, their teeth more devastated than a meth addict’s.  The building  is now being “repurposed” for high end condo buyers: spa bathrooms, “light drenched”  living rooms, chefs’ kitchens and hefty monthly charges. But we didn’t stay there.  We visited one of our oldest friends still on earth — and lazed in his backyard, and talked all night.   Also had a long liquid lunch at a restaurant on a spit overlooking bay waters, somewhere off Bridgehampton, with an umbrella to tame the dazzle. Thank you LYNN.

 

The Peace Stupa
The Peace Stupa

IMG_69682)  To Wynncot in Northfield, Mass, where the faint scent of  “The Great Awakening,” of Christian work camps and fresh air idealism still drifts like the smell of hemlock needles. It’s amplified today with Eastern hopes: The Peace Stupa, e.g.  But better,  it harbors birds, trees, and friends in a wonderful huge house: once an Arts & Crafts summer “cottage” and later in turn a school, a youth hostel, a nursing home, a bed and breakfast.  The house sits on a hilltop that was once an island in Lake Hitchcock 15,000 years ago; the retreating ice sheet and a huge dump of glacial trash at the bottom blocked what would become the Connecticut River. The lake was 200 miles long before it burst through and roared out into Long Island Sound.  The biggest noise at Wynncot this summer was a dinner party, where we feasted on lobster and corn.  Thank you ED, and LISA too.

Door in the dining room, Florence Griswald home.
Door in the dining room, Florence Griswold home.

 

3) And finally we missed the Climate Change march because we were having a delightful weekend with Mark and Rachel in New Haven…with visits to Yale Art Gallery,the Center for British Art and that haven for polite early 20th century landscape painters, the boarding house of Florence Griswold in Old Lyme. Sure made us know how badly we all needed (still need?) the modern. But we did see a great folk art exhibit on loan.    THANKS Mark, Rachel, and Lissa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall today and crisp cool & sunny.  If you are acculturated to school  –and who isn’t– fall always begins a new year, a new start, something new to read, to smell, to wear or at least something unworn since way last May. New Year, even if one isn’t Jewish!

ART Basil King Critique Exhibitions Green Man Martha King Prose Writing

Old files! Fielding Dawson on Basil King

Cleaning closet and old files, and here emerges a pamphlet with text on Basil’s art by Fielding Dawson, written twenty-five years ago. The pamphlet accompanied  “Paintings from the Cards,” an exhibition of Basil King’s work at Steve Clay’s first New York City shop, Granary Books, 636 Broadway—September 21-October 20, 1989.

There were eleven paintings in the show, all oil on canvas, all done between 1985 and 89, and none captured by digital photographs. There are slides. And the paintings themselves are in storage at Crozier Newark.

Twenty-five years ago, Fielding (and Basil) attributed his angle of vision to a birth accident – as once again we’re doing in re Baz’s spinal-fluid gap (aka salt water ocean) in his right brain – and the amazing overgrowth of  his left brain.

Good to know that today’s neuroscientists have debunked the old left brain/right brain dichotomy. (Left being intuitive, inventive, open to the subconscious and Right being bookkeeper, analyst, grammarian, mathematician.) Instead it’s rosy grey all over with many ways and means to cross talk.

None of that is as interesting as the insight Fielding had on Baz’s paintings which holds up years after Fee left us.  AND in language with punctuation that uncannily captures Fee’s unique vocal presence. It’s as if Fee himself emerged out of that old filing cabinet.  Scroll down for Fee’s essay!

Baz in his studio. Just behind is one of his  "Looking for the Green Man"  paintings, 2012.
Baz in his studio. Just behind is one of his “Looking for the Green Man” paintings, 2012.

 

Looking for the Green Man,  80"x 54: mixed media on canvas, Basil King, 2010
Another “Looking for the Green Man,” 80″x 54″ mixed media on canvas, Basil King, 2010

 

New work  18" x 24" mixed media on Stonehenge paper, Basil King,  2013
From the “Windows” series – 18″ x 24″ mixed media on Stonehenge paper, c Basil King, 2013

 

On Basil King’s Paintings   –   Fielding Dawson

Early work, in an artist’s life, is predictive.

Later, mature work, is reflective, in particular if it’s original.

It is in retrospect we see first clues to the genius of Pollock in that first, small self portrait…more of the same, but as none other, of Mozart, in his first symphony, written at eight, which we hear throughout the piano concertos and in the final work of work, the unfinished Requiem.

And once in a while we’re lucky to have a mature and original artist whose most recent work reflects not only the entire body of his work, but himself as well.  I’ve known Basil since we met at Black Mountain, 1951 or so, so these words are from experience, as well as ideas.

His work is meant to be seen before it is judged, just like Van Gogh’s. Or Soutine. Look at it, see what you see. This work speaks its own story because it’s involved with style.  The way paint is applied is the style of his visions (not true of dozens of painters, from Hals to Rothko: where paint is the medium toward impact).  Basil’s figures are painted on, they do not emerge through. He’s an illustrator after appearances, illustrating what he wants but we might not want, to see.  This work reflects his point of view his way:  he’s the artist, not the apologist.

The responsibility of seeing art is also in the viewer, and here—perhaps as always—to forget Rembrandt and look at Rembrandt’s work, see what you see, if we forget about who painted these paintings, and concentrate on the work, a good understanding is possible.

These odd diffuse presences, on their flat netherworld surfaces: classical shades near the River Styx, silent in their infinite, in part Surreal elongations and distortions—bodies unlike familiar bodies, heads unlike familiar heads, faces and expressions unlike oh ANYTHING as we know it!   For in our Western world it all becomes subjective, while pretty still lifes and landscape posters from the Met and the Louvre, like advertising not an inherent part of our lives, but like Impressionism in clever hands, are preferred, attractive and recognizable, these even beautiful images we imagine are part, perhaps denied, but part of our lives, in an inner, romantic way.  Beauty as inner experience, preferred and enjoyable we wish—WISH! DREAM it to be imbued in us which thereby we pray it becomes REAL, and we do pray.  A subjective prayer toward what the media and the cultured art world have assumed is proper, and nice.

We don’t know how brainwashed we are until we see original work like this, that reaches in, grabs hold, and gives our senses a good rattle.

No matter what we do with it, art was, is and will never be any one way.  It is the one experience of humankind where all the rules can be broken and it will survive, healthy and of its own, intact. And, like nature, it reflects the artist by casting in its reflective way light on aspects of a potential sphere of action many are not aware of, or are aren’t sure…if all things are taken into consideration—brushstroke, size of canvas—all things (his awareness of the edge of the canvas), open all the doors (all his colors appear mixed no use of the primaries), and the artist—with an interested onlooker only an elbow away—will see the inevitable image or composition that is beyond his control but is yet a great part of his life, which so few artists admit:  this other face, or image—identity, that so few painters confront but is such a part of the dynamo…in his concoction where behind his eyes a blend results in a visual transfer of identity to emerge complete with a point of view not unlike, if we put aside Stevenson’s theatrical lab work, born all over again:  Mister Hyde the artist.

Who might regard these paintings as the result of a collective Eyes Closed effort, a stylized pictorial range of human shapes and configurations ignored, if not avoided, but which are with us still and in great numbers there, in Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, so near Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, in the blood of Agent Orange children painted through, not from, right through Ethan Allen interiors: through the false color of color television: on opaque backgrounds, foreground image-figures, cartoons, alive by a will greater than their own.

The artist possessor of that will discovered of recent (how old is Basil, fifty-four?), and in conversation in his studio this summer, said that after lifelong upper back problems—causing a slight difference in posture—he saw yet one more in an endless chain of doctors who, with his hands on Basil’s back, asked, had Basil been born in Caesarian birth?  Yes.  Well, this medical gentleman said, he had been lifted out at the wrong angle, causing the spine…on the first day in the world, of the man who painted these paintings.

Fielding Dawson,well-known for his superb short stories, novels and memoirs, is an artist as well, whose collages and drawings have been widely published.