BASIL KING – Visual Artist and Poet  (b. 1935, London, England)| | 718-788-7927 



1949-51 Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan  

1951-56 Black Mountain College, North Carolina. Studies with Esteban Vicente, Joseph Fiore, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Stefan Wolpe, Peter Voulkos
1960-64    Part-time studio assistant for Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman 


Selected Solo Exhibitions  

2017 –  John Molloy Gallery, New York City: “Basil King – Bird Scripts” 

2016 –  Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, NC: “Between Painting and Writing” 

2016 –  St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC: “Basil King’s Birds” 

2010 – Poets House, New York City: “The Green Man” 

2006 –  Bowery Poetry Club, New York City:  “Rimbaud’s Seaside” 

1994 –  Gotham Book Mart Gallery, New York City: “Mirage” 

1989 –  Granary Books Gallery, New York City:  “Paintings from The Cards” 

1981 –  Poetry Project at St. Marks, New York City: “Paul and Joan” 

1979 –  Fifth Street Gallery, New York City: “Brides of Algate” 

1977 –  Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, New York:  “Basil King” 

1974 –  University of Kansas Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas:  

“Visions of a Great Rememberer: Basil King and Allen Ginsberg” 

1973 –  Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Basil King” 

1970 –  Judson Memorial Church, New York City:  “Algate Narcissus” 


Selected Group Exhibitions 

2014 –  Brooklyn Academy of Music, Opera House gallery: “Black Mountain College Artists” 

2013 –  Asheville Museum, North Carolina:  “Lasting Gifts from Black Mountain College”  

2012 –  Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College, Chicago: “Poems and Pictures”   

2010 –  RIT’s Innovation Center, Rochester, New York:  “Black Mountain North”  

2010 – The Center for Book Arts, New York City:  “Poems & Pictures, 1946-1981” 

2008 – Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, North Carolina: “The Spirit of Black Mountain College” 

2006 – Bridgett Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA: “Greetings from Black Mountain College” 

2002 – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid: “Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art” 

2002 – Arts Center, Hendersonville, NC: “From the Black Mountain College Museum Collection” 

1996/93  – Gallery 53, Cooperstown, NY: Three exhibitions: “Stealing Home”, “A Whole New Ballgame”, “Pitchers and Pictures” 

1990 – National Academy of Design, NY: “165th Annual Exhibition” 

1988 – Grey Gallery, New York University: “The Arts at Black Mountain College” 

1987/1992 – New York State Museum, Albany, NY and then on national tour sponsored by The Smithsonian: “Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball” 

1987 – Edith Bum Center, Bard College, Annandale, New York and North Carolina State Museum, Raleigh,    

               North Carolina:  “The Arts at Black Mountain College”   

1983 –  David Findlay, Jr., Gallery, New York City: “Homage to the Brooklyn Bridge”  

1971 – University of Kansas Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS: “Retrospective for a Critic: The Gene Swenson Collection”   

1967 –  New York University Loeb Student Center, New York City: “Origins and Cycles” 


Selected Bibliography   

2020 –  “Light Abstracts the Smallest Things: The Aesthetics of Basil King,” essays on King’s art and his           poetry, edited by Burt Kimmelman; Talisman House 

2017  – “Review of Basil King’s History Now” by Joshua A.W. Gardner; Journal of Poetic Research 

2014 –  “Reactions to Basil King’s Work” by Madeline Tiger; Jacket2 

2013 –  “The Language of Devotion: Basil King’s Life in Art” by Tim Keane; Hyperallergic 

2011 –  “Bring it Home” an appreciation of King’s work by Laurie Duggan; Big Bridge #1 

Books and Chapbooks 

2022 –  After Thoughtlimited edition artist’s book with 12 page spreads, featuring facing poems and paintings. New York: Granary Books 

2020 – Disparate Beasts: Basil King’s Beastiary, Part 2; 138 pages; New York: Marsh Hawk Press 

2017 – History Now from Learning to Draw/A history; 96 pages; New York: Marsh Hawk Press 

2015 – Grey from Learning to Draw/A history, unpaged; New Haven: Cy Gist 

2014 – The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand from Learning to Draw/A history, 104 pages, with 3 King photographs; New York: Marsh Hawk Press. 

2012 – Portraits, 36 pages (unpaged) with 10 King drawings; New York: Cy Gist. 

2011 – Learning to Draw/A History, 270 pages, with cover art and frontispiece  by King; Cheltenham, UK: Skylight Press. 

2010 – Wild Cards from Learning to Draw/A history, 42 pages (unpaged),with interior art by King; New York: Cy Gist Press. 

2009 – In the Field Where Daffodils Grow from Learning to Draw/A history, 38 pages, with King art on cover and interior; New York: Libellum Books 

2007 – 77 Beasts: Basil King’s Beastiary, 176 pages, New York: Marsh Hawk Press 

2006 – Solo, from Learning to Draw/A history, 28 pages (unpaged), West Hartford, Ct: Small Chapbook Project 

2005 – Twin Towers, from Learning to Draw/A history, 26 pages, Austin, Texas: Skanky Possum chapbook 

2003 – Mirage: A poem in 22 sections, 160 pages, with cover, back cover art and an unpaged portfolio of 7 oil paintings by King; New York: Marsh Hawk Press 

2001 – Warp Spasm, 116 pages, with cover art by King; New York: Spuyten Duyvil 

2000 – Identity, 36 pages, with cover and 6 paintings by King; New York: Spuyten Duyvil 

          – The Poet, 228 pages, 115 sketch portraits in pencil with 39  brief narratives about each poet; New York: Spuyten Duyvil 

1997 – Devotions with Selections from A Painter’s Bestiary, 74 pages, with 14  King drawings; London, England: Stop Press 

1997 – The Complete Miniatures, 54 pages, with 11 King drawings; London, England: Stop Press 

1986 – Split Peas, 16 page chapbook, with cover and 8 drawings by King; Pittsburgh: Zelot Press 



2012 — “Basil King: MIRAGE” – 22 minute documentary. Filmed in King’s studio with voice-over text from his poetry book mirage and close-ups of his paintings and graphics; produced and directed by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris Peyrafitte  

2012–“‘art is not natural– A Speaking Portrait of Basil King” — 10 minutes.  Filmed and edited by George Quasha 



Turchin Center for the Visual Arts 

Asheville Art Museum 

Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center 

Gladstone Museum of Baseball Art 

Grand Valley State Colleges 

North Carolina State Museum of Art 

Poets House, New York City 

Spencer Collection at The New York Public Library  

Springfield (Massachusetts) Museum of Art  

University of Kansas Museum of Art 

Yale University
Wadsworth Atheneum   




Selected Graphics and Book Art  

2022 – Hurricane Review #19, Jamey Jones, editor 

2021– Basil King Portfolio, witty partition #14, Bronwyn Mills, editor 

2016 – Broadside for “A Paul Blackburn Celebration”, St. Marks Poetry Project 

2013 –Gradually the World, Burt Kimmelman; BlazeVox 

2012 –Tiny Gold Dress, John Godfrey; Lunar Chandelier 

          –Rouge, Kimberly Lyons; Instance Press 

2011 – Allotments, Laurie Duggan; fewer and further Press 

2006 – Seven and More, Martha King and Basil King; Spuyten Duyvil 

2004 – Imperfect Fit, Martha King; Marsh Hawk Press 

2002 – To the Uzbekistani Soldier Who Would Not Save My Life, Susan Smith Nash;  Avec Books 

2001 – Poetry New York, #12, Burt Kimmelman, editor 

2000 – Little Tales of Family and War, Martha King; Spuyten Duyvil 

         – Lorca/Blackburn,Paul Blackburn translations of Lorca; Stop Press (UK)  

1999 – Sequentia. Theodore Enslin; Stop Press (UK) 

1997 – The Earth Suite, Carl Rakosi; Etruscan Books (UK) 

1996 – Situations #10, Joe Elliot, et al., editors 

          – First Intensity, Lee Chapman, editor          

1993 – Hanging Loose #63, Robert Hershon, et al., editors 

1990 – Opening the Eyelid, David Rattray; diwan press 

1989 – Rolling Stock, # 15/16; Edward and Jennifer Dorn, editors 

1987 – Against Numerology, Richard Caddel; North and South (UK) 

1982 – Maatsdorf #6, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bert Bakker, editor 

1979 – Winter Journey, Halvard Johnson; New Rivers Press  

1978 – Weather, Martha King; New Rivers Press 

1976 – The Psychology Calendar 1977; Mulch Press 

1974 – Visions of the Great Rememberer, Allen Ginsberg; Mulch Press 

1972 – Piere Vidal, as selected and translated by Paul Blackburn; Mulch Press 

1970 – MeatAir, Ron Loewinsohn; Harcourt, Brace & World 

1968 – The Sea, Around Us, Ron Loewinsohn; Black Sparrow  

1961 – Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note, LeRoi Jones; Totem/Corinth 

          – Yugen, #6 , LeRoi Jones and Hettie Cohen-Jones, editors  

1959 – Watermelons, Ron Loewinsohn; Totem Press 

          – Yugen, #5, Yugen, #4, Yugen, #1; LeRoi Jones and Hettie Cohen-Jones, editors  


Editorial Activity 

Founder and editor of the magazine, Mulch (1970 -76) and Mulch Press books (1972 -77)