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Donis (Alex) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: Chicano Studies Research Center Library
    Title: Alex Donis Papers
    Creator: Donis, Alex, 1964-
    Identifier/Call Number: CSRC.0108
    Physical Description: 14 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1964-2017
    Abstract: Paintings, sketches, videos, papers and photographs relating to the career of the Santa Monica-based artist, Alex Donis.
    Physical Location: COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive for paging information.
    Language of Material: English .


    Open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was donated by Alex Donis to the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library Archive. Deed on file at the archive office.


    The collection is arranged in the following series.
    • Series 1. Audiovisual material
    • Series 2. Correspondence / Photographs / Personal material
    • Series 3. Catalogs / Publications / Exhibition material
    • Series 4. Travel-related ephemera
    • Series 5. Computer disks
    • Series 6. Art by Alex Donis and others and related research materials
    • Series 7. Books and periodicals


    Francisco and Ana Maria Donis were both from Guatemala and immigrated to Chicago Illinois, where their son Alex was born on April 8, 1964. They moved their family to Los Angeles in 1967 where Ana Maria worked as a nurse for LA County and Franciscco had a restaurant services company. They retired to travel and consider themselves "somewhat" socialistic in their worldviews.
    Alex Donis is a Los Angeles-based visual artist whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. Interested in toppling society's relationship to icons, his work is often influenced by a tri-cultural (Pop, Latin and Queer) experience. He has worked extensively in a variety of media including painting, installation, video, and works on paper. He was educated at a Catholic school in East Los Angeles, a prep school in Massachusetts, and a military academy on the southern coast of Guatemala. He received his undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach and his graduate degree from Otis College of Art and Design. Donis has exhibited his work at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Geffen Contemporary (MoCA); the Laguna Museum of Art, Laguna Beach; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); the Mexican Museum, San Francisco; Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago; Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco; Pretoria Arts Museum, South Africa; and Artspace, Sydney Australia. His work was included in the landmark exhibition "Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity 1900-2000" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His work has been featured in FlashArt International, Artweek, The Los Angeles Times, La Opinion, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Sydney Morning Herald. His work will be part of the three-volume anthology Chicano/Chicana Art in the United States published by the Bilingual Press of the University of Arizona, Phoenix. Alex has also been awarded residencies at the University of Texas, Austin; the Brandywine Institute, Philadelphia; and Artspace, Sydney, Australia. Donis has taught drawing and painting at the Watts Towers Arts Center, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences. He was also an artist in residence at the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alex Donis Papers, 108, Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Processing Information

    Processed by the CSRC in 2012. Additions processed by Doug Johnson in 2020. Finding aid revised by Doug Johnson in 2021. The revision was done during the COVID-19 pandemic so there was no access to the physical collection.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists mostly of material documenting the work and travels of Alex Donis. It inclues video and audio tapes, artwork, publicity material for exhibitions, corresponence, and photographs. There are also clippings, periodicals, books, and ephemera.

    Conditions Governing Use

    These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of materials, including but not limited to infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Mexican American art
    Bienal de La Habana