top of page

Alexandra Docili
(1910 - 1983)

Gouache and Acrylic
22" x 30"

Peter Docili

Alexandra Docili (1910 - 1983)

Alexandra Docili studied at Mills College in Oakland. She later completed two years at the  Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco. While in her 50s, she enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute and excelled under the tutelage of William Geis, Deborah Remington and Jay Defeo.


San Francisco in the 1960s was the center of counterculture thinking.

It was the time of the Summer of Love, the Human Be-In and Haight Street. Within this context, mild-mannered Bay Area artist Alexandra Docili began painting. Her works on paper, though clearly influenced by the times, emanate a fragility and delicacy rarely attributed to the decade.

An integral member of the Visionary Arts movement began in the latter half of the 1960s in San Francisco, Docili and other artists of the movement sought to interpret the era’s counterculture ideas.


“[Artists would take] skulls, dandelions, weeds … and bring them into these personal visionary worlds that were a lot like surrealism, in a Docili exhibit, “Her Visionary Worlds of Natural Curiosities: 1965-1967,” 


Calling heavily upon mushroom iconography, fantastical underwater worlds and straightforward cataloging, Docili’s works, despite an overall sparseness, always reveal sensitivity. Her paintings are featherweight in tenor, with touches of surrealism and mythology.


Regarding her watercolors, which dominate her collection, a quiet is infused, softening her surreal pieces, including one that features a peaked green dome reminiscent of something from a J.R.R. Tolkien novel.

bottom of page