Basil King






Photo of Basil King by Nicole Peyrafitte

The Friends of Basil King are Mitch Highfill, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman, Martha King, and Kimberly Lyons. A group of writers who came together in 2011 to support and bring attention to the visual and language arts of painter and poet
Basil King. A circle of advisors assists our efforts.

News from the friends of Basil King.
A solo exhibition of Kings paintings and graphics opened September 2nd and will continue December 31 at the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center in Asheville, N.C.. A second exhbibtion will open  October  28 and be on disolayt through November 19 at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina, part of a semester-long celebration of Black Mountain arts. In February 2017, King;s work will be exhibited in a solo show at the John Molloy Gallery, on East 78th Street, in New York City.

Basil King was invited to serve in the  role as narrator in Black Mountain Songs by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry, presented as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival, in 2014.

Tim Keane wrote about Basil King in "The Language of Devotion" on Hyperallergic on 8.3.13:
"His human and animal figures are often semi-anonymous and melancholic, recalling Max Beckmann and Chaim Soutine, countered with the ebullient colors and vibrant surfaces found in American and British Pop art, as in his decades-long series of giant iconographic paintings based on playing cards. In other works, King paints tinted blank planes with a contemplative palette suggestive of Color Field painting; their geometric designs and hypnotic effects share traits of Minimalism. This stylistic openness informs his writing life too. His autobiographical collage Learning to Draw/A History rejectschronology and defies the boundary between prose and poetry and even fact and fiction. Instead of a straight narrative, he engages in the sort of colloquial musicality mastered by New York School poet friends like Frank O’Hara and Frank Lima as well as the atavistic cadences and syntactic reiterations of Gertrude Stein and Samuel Beckett".



Lunar Chandelier Press was an organizer and sponsor of:
"Basil’s Arc: The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King"
on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Anthology Film Archives
Over 100 people gathered for this celebration of the visual art of Basil King.

The fireworks, raison d’├¬tre and finale of the event was a first screening of
a 22-minute film portrait of Basil King, created and directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte with Nicole Peyrafitte and Commissioned by the Friends of Basil King.

"I am a painter and a writer, and I follow these two habits, making lines that are not always linear” says 77 years old Brooklyn working artist Basil King. This 22-minute film depicts the vital ongoing intimacy between writing and painting, mapping of the multiple layers of Basil King’s interior terrain is structured via his reading of his long poem “Mirage” (Marsh Hawk Press 2003) and filmic survey of his paintings.The camera focuses on the lines drawn/written and intrinsic experiences of King’s syncretic aesthetics that have been shaped by his early childhood in WWII London ,friendship with poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, apprenticeship to Abstract Expressionist painters Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko in New York, and by his mentors and friends at Black Mountain College, including Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, John Wieners and to his relationship with other artist such as Frank O’Hara, Paul Blackburn. But most of all, this film examines Basil King’s ongoing quest. “Mirage” is available for rental via the Friends of Basil King.
Please contact: Lunarchandelierpress@gmail.com

Art is Not Natural”  was screened following “Mirage.”.A speaking portrait
of artist/poet Basil King, filmed by George Quasha,  2-13-10.

Basil’s Arc: The Paintings and Poetics of Basil ing included talks on King’s art  by
scholars, critics and poets including Edna Augusta, William Benton, Laurie Duggan,
Tom Fink, Paola Javier,  Andrew levy, Harry Lewis, Tom Patterson, George Quasha,
Barry Schwabsky and Mitch Highfill, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman and Kimberly Lyons .

Daniel Staniforth’s video of images and music “The Green Man ”opened the day.
Joe Elliot, Hettie Jones, Martha King, Mitch Highfill and Michael Mann, who  read selections from Basil King’s books of prose and poetry.

Filmmaker, poet and vocalist Nicole Peyrafitte presented sang her original
vocalization of a poem by Basil King, “ I Have a Little Song.”
Thanks to the  donated expertise of  Christina Strong,
nearly all of the panels, readings and performances of the event,
“Basil’s Arc: The  Paintings and Poetics of Basil King” are online.
Link below to all currently available vimeos of this event.