Tag Archives: Black Mountain College

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 Movies News

Congratulations Miles Joris-Peyrafitte!

With great pleasure – but not that much surprise – we note the SUNDANCE film festival’s special jury award for Miles’s first full-length feature As You Are.

The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016
The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016

The lack of surprise is due to seeing Miles work when he was still a Bard College undergrad on the 2013 short Basil King: MIRAGE along with his mother, multimedia artist, Nicole Peyrafitte. Seen above, poet (and dad) Pierre Joris, Miles, Nicole, and brother Joseph Mastantuono, who did post- production on both the King film and Miles’ new dramatic feature, at SUNDANCE.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming "Basil King: MIRAGE"
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming “Basil King: MIRAGE”
Working with Nicole Peyrafitte on "Basil King: MIRAGE
Nicole Peyrafitte at work on “Basil King: MIRAGE”

This film, commissioned by The Friends of Basil King, takes 22 minutes to present an introduction to Basil King’s art and poetry, with skillful filming of his work and his studio and a voice-over narration provided by King reading from this 2003 book, mirage: a poem in 22 sections.

It has since been screened at the Beverly Mass. Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (the premiere), Kent and Sussex universities and Brookes Oxford Art School in England, the Asheville Museum, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, and informally at readings in London, New Haven and New York.

Opening title for the film on Baz.
Opening title for the film.

There will be a screening this coming fall at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center in connection with their exhibition of Basil King’s art.  For more information about the film and the trailer: basilkingmirage.net

Basil King Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Prose Pros series Writing

News: Martha’s memoir in A Public Space magazine

Fifty pages of my memoir Outside Inside — expertly excerpted and condensed by Brigid Hughes — is featured in issue 22 of A Public Space. With many photographs.  Issue 22 –print or digital— or an annual subscription — can be ordered here: http://apublicspace.org/magazine

While I posted announcements on Facebook in October and had a marvelous send-off at the November 2015 Prose Pros reading series at Side Walk – aided by friends Vincent Katz, Mitch Highfill, Kimberly Lyons and Burt Kimmelman, who read excerpts from my work and their own autobiographical prose – I  never posted the story on this blog.

So, once again, I have the pleasure of putting up the photograph taken by Lynn St. John back when I was 22.  Here it is as the spread in the magazine:

Spread in A Public Space, with my article and Lynn St. John's photo.
Spread in A Public Space, with my article and Lynn St. John’s photo.

While the whole manuscript (all 300-plus pages of it) awaits a publisher, check out this issue. Not only for my stories, some sad and some glorious, with Basil King, Paul Blackburn, Dan Rice, Frank O’Hara, Lucia Berlin, G.R. Swenson, Robert Duncan, Jim Rosenquist and others, but also for the entire issue which has many special pleasures and rewards. I’m very happy to be in it.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Martha King Poetry Prose Readings Writing

Black Mountain Songs Round-UP

Contrary to normal blog rules, this one is long as there is so much to tell.

First: What is “Black Mountain Songs”?  A collaborative musical event, inspired by the spirit of Black Mountain College, with songs composed by Jherek Bischoff, Bryce Dessner, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, and Alexsandra Vrebalov, arranged in a seamless stream for the voices of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The show offered projections of archival and new visuals; two dancers, old Gus Solomons, once a member of the Merce Cunningham company, and young Adam Gauzza most recently of the Caroline Dorfman company; and seated stage left, Basil King, painter, poet, and Black Mountain College alum,  as narrator, reading bits of poetry and prose by Fielding Dawson, Josef Albers, and himself.

On the BAM stage: film projections and the Photo for Brooklyn Youth Chorusby Julieta Cervantes.
On the BAM stage: film projections, the chorus, musicians, and narrator, with Dianne  Berkun-Menaker, conducting. Photo for Brooklyn Youth Chorus by Julieta Cervantes.

The four performances of “Black Mountain Songs” went flawlessly to full houses and enthusiastic audiences at the Harvey Theater—part of the annual Next Wave Festival at BAM.  In fact every performance seemed richer and more exciting than the last.  (This despite Basil battling a vicious upper respiratory infection which emerged as full-scale bronchitis once the shows were over.) Multimedia in elegant restraint:   the amazing kids of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus singing without scores and moving to choreography that balanced their singing.

Here are links and reviews.

Wall Street Journal  (click to slide #8 of 9 for a photo of Baz)

The New York Times

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Muscians - including composers Bryce Dressner, seated with guitar, and Richard Parry, standing with bass. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
The musicians – including composers Caroline Shaw, third from left in orange pants, Bryce Dessner, seated with guitar, and Richard Reed Parry, standing with bass. Projection shows Josef and Anni Albers, at Black Mountain College. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Side by Side --Gus Solomons and Adam Gauzza
Side by Side –Gus Solomons (left) and Adam Gauzza

Some background       Bryce Desser (composer and lead guitar in the indie-rock band The National) found Black Mountain first via composers—John Cage and Lou Harrison particularly.  And he’d been in those mountains as a boy when his parents sent him to a summer camp not far from Black Mountain’s former campus.  Later, Bryce’s sister, who was studying poetry with Larry Fagin and at the New School, began bringing him books he’d never encountered in a straight education:  Charles Olson.  Robert Duncan.  Robert Creeley.  And there was more.   The models of democracy and cross discipline collaboration Black Mountain presented spoke to him. Bryce shared his enthusiasm with friend, collaborator, and fellow composer Richard Reed Parry (instrumentals and vocals for the indie-rock band Arcade Fire).  Both musicians move easily from art rock to composing and performing contemporary concert music. Bryce’s previous collaboration with the Kronos Quartet and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus set his ideas rolling.

Basil accepts applause from chorus and audience.
Basil accepts applause from chorus and audience.

What Baz did   In addition to reading brief excerpts that introduced songs on texts by Fielding Dawson, Charles Olson, and Joseph Albers, he concluded with this piece of his:  

Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place.  I was blown to where light abstracts the smallest thing, into the core of a vernacular, into the heart of the abstract. No wind but the stillness blows me, no reason; no existence blows the shapes that have lost their edges. Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place. Blow your feathers and your worms. Your mulch protrudes the surface. Your bravery blows forgiveness. Your anger blows freedom. Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place. I was blown to where light abstracts the smallest thing, into the core of a vernacular, into the heart of the abstract. No wind but the stillness blows me, no reason; no existence blows the shapes that have lost their edges.

[From Learning to Draw/A History Basil King]

The Youth Chorus responded with hope for their Black Mountain and a marvelous final song, “Their Passing in Time,”  words and music  by Richard Reed Parry.

Will there be more?  Possibly.  Visit Bryce Dessner’s website for news and updates.

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 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.