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The Art Dockuments: Tales of the Art Dock: The Drive-by Gallery Paperback – September 9, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A wide-ranging account of the artistic community in downtown Los Angeles during the 1980s.

In this thoroughly engrossing book, Davis provides an in-depth catalog of the works he exhibited between 1981 and 1986 in the Art Dock, a loading dock attached to his studio. As he states in his manifesto, this savvy, provocative decision resonates by “epitomizing the nature of contemporary art in the on-loading, off-loading, and up-loading of commodity.”

A valuable, permanent record of transitory and improvised events, embedded in a particular historical and artistic moment, which otherwise may have been lost.


Clarion Review 

 Four Stars  

Those whose downtown Los Angeles touchstone is Frank Gehry’s aluminum-clad, tornado-like  Disney Concert Hall may have trouble conjuring what the area was like thirty years before that  building starred in every new automobile ad on television. The Art Dockuments – Tales of the  Art Dock: The Drive-by Gallery, by Carlton Davis, is a fascinating tribute to a very different  Downtown scene and the scrappy artists who gentrified this rundown section of the city during  the first half of the 1980s. 

 Divided into four acts—titled “The Manifesto,” “The Community Gallery,” “The Art Olympics,” and “The Business of Art”—this survey covers every exhibition held from 1981 through 1986 in the eccentric gallery located in the loading dock of a former pickle factory. The book’s focus is as much on the lives and beliefs of the creators as it is on their art works. The colorful illustrations of each show provide a visual diary and, together with a photograph of the featured art framed in the loading dock’s square opening, effectively tie together the book’s thirty-five historical narratives.  

While The Art Dockuments is an entertaining choice for any reader craving a passionate account of art practiced as life—and faith—this handsomely packaged book will be most useful for aficionados of contemporary art, especially those interested in alternative ventures.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461082102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461082101
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,305,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Emily on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
The writing was ok. I didn't see any major problems with it. However, the concept behind the story was bizarre. I understand it is a true story, but its just bizarre. I'm still not sure if I liked it.
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Format: Paperback
Now that some 50,000 people reside in downtown LA and the Arts District has grown, leading to downtown becoming truly hip at last, this history is totally fascinating. I lived and worked in the area at the time, and I saw a number of the shows in the Art Dock. The story of those shows, of the artists, and of the meaning to Los Angeles is a unique glimpse into what we see there today. This is its own story of pioneers, as told by a great story-teller.
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