Eastern Oregon University > Press > Famous Northwest artist featured in new issue of “basalt”

Famous Northwest artist featured in new issue of “basalt”

New “basalt” features artwork of Fox Valley native

Contact: David Axelrod | “basalt” co-editor
541-962-3633 | daxelrod@eou.edu

Morris Graves' paintings are featured in the latest issue of "basalt."

October 4, 2012
– The work of a famous Northwest modern painter decorates the pages of the new issue of “basalt,” Eastern Oregon University’s award-winning literary and fine arts magazine.

Morris Graves was born in Fox Valley in rural Grant County in 1910, and by the 1930s was considered one of the most distinctive artists in Oregon and the entire region.

Graves became an even greater sensation the moment his paintings appeared in the 1942 exhibit “18 Artists from 9 States” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The artwork featured in “basalt” spans the years 1941-1995.

“We’re fortunate to have been able to work with the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho, to secure access to these very rare drawings and paintings,” said Ben Mitchell, “basalt” art editor.

Though the subjects are typical of Graves’ mature, often metaphysical work depicting birds and flowers, they are distinguished by “his mastery of line, wash and color,” Mitchell said. He further describes the work in his accompanying essay as “Spiritually introspective…autohypnotic hallucinations.”

The writers in the new issue range from around the world and include translations from German, prose poems, the 2012 Bunchgrass Prize Winner, as well as works by recent and future Ars Poetica visiting writers Crystal Williams, Travis Mossotti, Maxine Scates and Keetje Kuipers.

Copies of current and past issues are available to purchase by contacting the editors at eou.edu/basalt. Additional essays and reviews on a variety of subjects are also accessible online, as well as information about upcoming programs and events.

This most recent issue was made possible by a major grant from Literary Arts, Inc. Jeffrey Levine, one of the judges who selected “basalt” for the Oregon Literary Fellowship, praised the publication as “A journal that pays attention to the overlapping worlds of literary and fine arts [and] is something special, if not entirely unique. But a journal that enables this marriage with such sensitivity and beauty is rare indeed. ‘basalt’ is doing gorgeous and exciting work, not only with their print journal but though their website and commendable educational outreach projects. The real gift here is the extraordinary editorial attention to the ways in which the various media might speak to each other within the pages of a magazine.”