Tag Archives: Basil King

ART Basil King Black Mountain Collage Critique Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Writing

Outside/Inside -Martha’s memoir-is published

I am delighted to announce the publication of Outside / Inside:  Just outside the art world’s inside, my memoir published by BlazeVOX Books.  The book can be ordered now on the BlazeVOX website, or on Amazon, or by pestering your favorite local bookshop.

Outside of Outside / Inside

Wonderful warm words  Here are comments from advance readers:

Martha King’s fascinating memoir bristles with a unique kinetics of purpose, struggle, reluctant parents, loyal friendships, and of a lifelong partnership with brilliant artist Basil King forged in a utopian dream of communality and the powers of alternative art praxis and passionate bohemian life. What a headstrong young woman she was taking off to Black Mountain upon receiving a note from then rector Charles Olson to “Come with all the money you have and what you are used to for cooking.” And what a long life that continues unabated! Indeed this book is a way of seeing with others in and out of place inthe maelstrom of heady American art and poetry life. I think of Clifford Geertz’sterms “consociational”: all the bustling intersecting realities and persons and thework itself that makes such a grand fabric and warm salute to an amazing time in our culture’s complicated relationship to its geniuses.   I couldn’t put OUTSIDE/INSIDE down until way after dawn, captured by King’s patience, and the urgent “call” to tell this palpable art-driven love story, an archive of trenchant and luminous particulars. —Anne Waldman

I’ve just finished with this splendid memoir. It has so much life to it, and brio, and so much deeply felt reflection that I’m hooked. I loved hearing about everything! The picture of San Francisco life at a certain moment in the mid-fifties has not been equaled elsewhere…but the Lucia Berlin chapter was to me the emblem of all the rest—a long look, with a hundred cunningly observed details, that builds to an heroic thesis. —Kevin Killian

Martha King’s writing brims with a forward propulsion that makes her memoir a page-turner, until you deliberately slow down to relish many passages. You end up appreciating a well-lived life, even if you are not familiar with all of its characters. She says early on that she, perhaps unfashionably for today, lived/lives a life (partly) in support of her partner rather than in self-focused exploration. That’s not something to criticize when her partner, painter-poet Basil King, manifests an integrity that earns any support for it. Besides, hindsight shows that Martha ends up fulfilling her own potential as a poet and writer. The very last word of the memoir sums up Martha’s life — it is a word worth discovering in a book worth reading for her definition. —Eileen R. Tabios

Here it is, kids, the Martha King chronicles. An insider’s account of the real late Black Mountain College, starting with Charles Olson’s enigmatic but clearly motivated postcard: “Come with what money you have in hand and what you are used to for cooking.” The trip stretches wide and far but comes home to a real sense of living. And living for art. Eventually, and then always, with partner in crime and much else, painter and poet Basil King. She gives us what we really want and need — textures: “rotting mattresses, worn-out boots…” She tells what radical women’s lives were like, they “…improvised their clothing, cooked exotic peasant food, tied nursing babies to their waists with Mexican scarves.” She cuts to the essential: “Black Mountain is important because it grew a language – in collision – that is still available for use.” She gives us close-up accounts of goings on inside the Cedar Street Tavern. Denizens, avatars, pass through and by: John Wieners, Frank O’Hara, Hettie Jones, Bob Thompson, Paul Blackburn. And then she goes beyond that, all the way to the present. King clarifies, edifies, entertains. She gives the reader all that freely, and the reader is duly gratified. —Vincent Katz

Martha King’s lively, always insightful memoir provides an intimate account of not only the artists and writers constellated around Black Mountain College in the 1950s but the evolution of many of its figures—famous ones like Charles Olson and John Wieners as well as those less so—while the scenery changes from San Francisco to the East Village, from the ragged clapboards at Black Mountain to the Park Avenue apartments of art dealers. Against the backdrop of her proper Southern upbringing King charts her sentimental education, one done in the company of her husband Basil King, with both eye and ear attuned to the urgent disputes and minor key joys that animate the ordinary days of poets and painters. By turns a family remembrance, a gossipy tale, a love story, and a bildungsroman, Outside/Inside gives vivid account of lives lived in pursuit of making. —Al Mobilio

The book is an incredible picture of life in the art/writing scene over that period. A great picture too of New York. I’d been reading part of Edmund Wilson’s diaries which gives a detailed account of the city some thirty years [earlier]. Martha King’s account is just as sharp and dense with detail….it’s the period just before the money people completely took over. I like the take on the sixties counter-culture, its naivety in being part of the advance of capitalism without knowing it. And I think that what is says about women in that period (or now for that matter) is absolutely on the money. —Laurie Duggan

Martha King was there, and her book is a testimony to the moment when modernism transitioned into contemporary poetry and painting. From Black Mountain to Frank O’Hara and James Rosenquist, she and her husband, the much accomplished and respected painter and writer Basil King, were there, and the result is a personal and detailed guide to a critical moment in the history of the American arts. This is an essential book. Don’t miss it.—Edward Foster

BOOK LAUNCH!  A launch party is taking place at Howl Arts, 6 East 1st Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues) on Thursday November 8, 7-9 pm. All invited!
Here is the link:
ART Basil King Black Mountain Collage Exhibitions Martha King museums News Poetry Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

The Kings at “Creative Democracy” – The Turchin Center for Visual Arts

Three vitrines display books and broadsides by Basil King and Martha King

To celebrate the legacy of Black Mountain College, the Turchin Center for Visual Arts at Appalachian State University has mounted a show called “Creative Democracy.”  It’ll be on view until June 2, 2018.   (See previous post, “Basil King in new BMC Exhibition” posted in January.)

Twelve of Basil King’s recent bird paintings are featured, along with other Black Mountain connected art and artifacts. Basil gave a one-hour talk on his art and life as did former BMC student Frank Hursh. Martha  is represented with some of her publications in vitrines. The Kings also visited poet Joe Bethanti’s class for a lively Q&A about Black Mountain and beyond. Books by Martha and by Basil are currently for sale in the Appalachian State University bookstore. (Look on the website www.basilking.net for purchase information elsewhere!)

Here are some highlights.

Two paintings by Frank Hursh who attended BMC in 1949; King’s “Perch #4 – The Three Graces” in the middle; Pots by Peter Voulkos in vitrine.
From the top: “Perch #16” – “Perch #3” – “Sketch for Perch” – and “Perch #12” — all Basil King, 2017.
Overview.  Wall in the back begins with King’s  “Bird & Company – Cousin Green” at left and ends with “Perch #11 – November 9, 2016” on right.  Wall on left full of Dawson collages, hung too high for easy viewing, alas.
From the left – paintings by Hursh, King, Susan Weil, King again.

 

Jacob Lawrence (left) Basil King (right)

Fielding Dawson collage.  This was a cover for Dawson’s chapbook “The Shell Game”
Logo for the exhibition and the University’s semester-long BMC celebration.

 

 

 

Desk for BMC students, designed by Joseph Albers
ART Basil King Black Mountain Collage Critique Exhibitions Green Man Martha King museums News Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Writing

New Publication and an Exhibition

The online magazine Talisman has just posted issue #46 with a substantial section of critical responses to Basil King’s art and poetry…which a number of the commentators have so rightly considered together.

 

 

 

Go   www.talismanmag.net to read and see. Yes, see, as there are links to Basil’s visual art and a provocative selection of his rarely seen works on paper in Kimberly Lyons essay.

Burt Kimmelman, An Introduction to the Essays on Basil King
Mallory King, Basil King, Artist
Joshua Gardner, Between the Physical and the Cultural: Basil King
and Charles Olson’s “Herodotean Exploration.”

Mitch Highfill, Basil King and the Small Press Revolution
Vyt Bakaitis, Borne to Light: Basil King’s History Now
Laurie Duggan, Basil King and the Green Man

Vincent Katz, Some Thoughts on the Paintings and Poetics of Basil King
Burt Kimmelman, Painting, Poetry, Basil King
Martha King, “Aldgate Narcissus”: Basil King’s work in the late 1960s
Andrew Levy, Talking Pause – Reflections on Basil
Kimberly Lyons, Basil King Works on Paper: Singularity, Dyads, Families and Mass
George Quasha, Everything Is Language
Barry Schwabsky, Playing Cards and Cigarettes
Daniel Staniforth, Basil King’s Learning to Draw/ A History

 And as infomercials say, “WAIT, There’s more!”   A group of Basil’s recent paintings, a selection of his books, and a selection of my (Martha King’s) publications are now on view at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina. The exhibition celebrating “Creative Democracy: The Legend of Black Mountain College” will be on view until June 2, 2018. To view the invitation, copy this into your browser:   https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/ead3a302-ecbf-4140-a4bf-5d671a4c2989.

ART Basil King Black Mountain Collage Exhibitions Martha King News Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Basil King in new BMC exhibition

Creative Democracy: The Legacy of Black Mountain College – Art and artifacts by people who were students at the now legendary North Carolina art school (1933-1956)

Exhibition opens: Friday, January 12, 2018

Exhibition Celebration: Friday, March 2, 2018 (6:00pm -10:00pm)

Exhibition ends: Saturday, June 2, 2018

Venue: Main Gallery of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

Basil King is represented in this exhibition with twelve recent paintings.  Martha King and Basil King are represented in displays of broadsides, books and magazines in which their literary and art works appeared.

On March 1, 2018, at 6 PM Basil King will give an evening talk on his experiences as a student at BMC, its impact on his development, and his perspectives regarding the continued and growing interest in Black Mountain ideas.

He and Martha King will be attending the Exhibition Celebration the following night — 6PM to 10PM.

The exhibition is part of the campus-wide celebration of the legacy of Black Mountain College during Appalachian State University’s Spring 2018 semester.  Click this link for descriptions of the campus-wide activities.https://today.appstate.edu/2017/10/18/black-mountain-college-semester

 

 

ART Basil King Black Mountain Collage Critique Martha King Poetry Writing

Review of History Now — in JPR

New comment on Basil King’s art and writing 

Joshua Gardner, critic
Kim Lyons, poet and critic
Basil King with his latest book

 

 

Joshua A.W. Gardner in his review of Basil King’s latest book of poetry, History Now (New York: Marsh Hawk Press, 2017), “connects the dots” between King’s visual art and the poetry he has been writing since 1985. Gardner finds his “intellectual kinship with the poet Charles Olson” seminal and concludes that King has made himself “a living extension of the Black Mountain legacy” by freely intermingling historical facts, poetry, language, politics, and the capacity to have more than one voice.

The review is 7 pages including photographs, notes, a reproduction and a link to SPD for ordering the book.

Journal of Poetic Research, September 2017. Download it here:

http://poeticsresearch.com/article/joshua-a-w-gardner-reviews-basil-king/

 

This follows publication of Kimberly Ann Lyons’ essay “Here is Another Somewhere: The Visual Art of Basil King” which focuses on the influence of Robert Duncan and his aesthetics on Basil King’s art. She identifies Duncan’s concept of art involving the weaving and the unweaving of a figure…”the twist that permits emergence of mercurial genius”… as instrumental in King’s development. He was an art student at Black Mountain College when Duncan taught there in the 1950s.

The article is 14 pages and has six small reproductions of Basil King paintings.

Dispatches Poetry Wars, July 2017. Download it here:

Here Is another Somewhere: the Visual Art of Basil King, by Kimberly Lyons

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART Basil King Critique News Poetry Writing

NEWS: Kimberly Lyons on Basil King’s art

Good news: DISPATCHES FROM THE POETRY WARS  http://dispatchespoetrywars.com/ is up and healthy. (The site had a spate of glitches during a recent upgrade.)

I am even more pleased to report that a thoughtful article by Kimberly Ann Lyons on Basil King’s visual art “Here is Another Somewhere” is in the Commentary section… http://dispatchespoetrywars.com/…/another-somewhere-visual…/

Also available is the complete text of Basil’s complex meditation on the events of September 11, 2001: TWIN TOWERS. Visit the Dispatches section http://dispatchespoetrywars.com/dispatches/…/07/twin-towers/

Kim takes a look at Basil’s development and the influences of his friends and mentors at Black Mountain College…focusing especially on a never-before discussed connection to Robert Duncan and his concept of art involving the weaving and the UNWEAVING of a figure…and the twist that permits emergence of mercurial genius.

Basil (Lyons says) “has a shared perception with (Duncan) when he writes that “We know we can endure because each one of us has become one of the other.”

The article includes a few reproductions of Basil’s visual art, to which I’ll add one more, just finished this September.

“Mirage II, Highway Obstacle” – mixed media on canvas, 2017,  34″ x 48″,  ©Basil King. Collection of the artist.

It’s important for me to mention that this issue of DISPATCHES  is packed with thoughtful, funny, moving, angry, and exciting work. Thank you, editors Kent Johnson and Michael Boughn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART Basil King Poetry Prose Writing

History Now is here

Basil King’s new book, History Now, Marsh Hawk Press, 2017, is here.

It is the latest segment in what poet Laurie Duggan is calling King’s epic, Learning to Draw.  Eileen Tabios in her online “poetry engagement” Galetea Ressurects, calls it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

All five books to date are pictured below.  Another publication, a beautiful chapbook In the Field Where Daffodils Grow was published by Vincent Katz’s Libellum Books, but is not pictured as the text also appears in the large Learning to Draw/A History in the middle of the photo below.  We are grateful to him and to other publishers who issued chapbooks or published segments of this work in their magazines, explicitly Mark Lamoureux, Sanjay Agnihotri, Ed Foster, David Caddy, Dale Smith and Hoa Nguyen, and Peter Ganick.

Order from SPD [www.spdbooks.org] for $15 plus S&H, or, if you must, from Amazon Books, also $15 plus S&H.

Books in Basil King’s epic LEARNING TO DRAW sequence.

 

 

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