Lost Art Salon is a San Francisco-based gallery that specializes in the rediscovery of historically significant artists and the curation of fine art collections reflecting the major styles and movements of the Modern Era. Open to the public, the gallerys showroom offers over 5,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and objects from the late 19th Century through the present, with a strong emphasis on 20th Century Modernism.
Alexandra Docili was a pioneer of the Visionary Art movement that developed in San Francisco during the second half of the 1960s. She was enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute while this new movement was being spearheaded by a group of professors and students, including Thomas Akawie, who was recruited to an institute dominated by Abstract Expressionism and Bay Area Figurative Painting. Visionary Art became the fine art expression of counter culture ideas depicted in surrealist and fantasy worlds. The influence of this truly San Francisco art movement, coupled with Docili studying under well-known Bay Area artist Jay Defeo*, resulted in a body of work that uses elements from nature to compose resonant, symbolic worlds. Her encyclopedic and minutely rendered images of bones, feathers, coral, seahorses, pods, mushrooms, monolithic pyramids, stones and branches are reminiscent of 16th Century illustrations from European cabinets of curiosities.
The nearly fifty drawings and paintings were executed between 1965 and 1967 when Docili was in her late fifties, and as San Francisco was heading towards its 1967 Summer of Love. The mediums include graphite, pen and ink, watercolor, woodblock prints and acrylic. All works are on paper.
Known to her family as “Alex”, she was born Beulah Piper to Thomas and Elizabeth Piper in Jackson Township, Butler County, PA, on May 15th, 1910. Her father was a blacksmith for a coal mining company. In 1938, she was recorded as living in Healdsburg, CA. Peter and Alexandra, who got married in 1948, lived in the Sunset District of San Francisco. She died on November 24th, 1983.
*San Francisco Beat Era artist, Jay DeFeo is renowned for her obsessive creation of what is widely-considered to be one of the great masterworks of the 20th Century, “The Rose”. Her work is also noted for Symbolism and the mutation of organic and mechanical materials to invoke psychological meanings with personal urgency.