Profile: Dale Brockman Davis (1945-)

Dale Brockman Davis is a Los Angeles-based African-American artist, gallerist and educator best known for his assemblage sculpture and ceramic work that addresses themes of African American history and music, especially jazz. Along with his brother, artist Alonzo Davis, he co-founded Brockman Gallery in Leimert Park. Through the gallery and his broader community work, Davis became an important promoter of African-American artists in Los Angeles.


Davis was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on November 11, 1945. He moved to Los Angeles in 1956. He studied at Los Angeles City College before earning his B.F.A. at the University of Southern California. There he studied with noted ceramist F. Carlton Ball. He would eventually moved beyond vessels and other traditional ceramic forms, instead focusing on sculpture. He was inspired by assemblage art scene that emerged in Los Angeles’s African-American community following the Watts Rebellion of 1965.

He did graduate work towards his M.F.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles but stopped the program after encountering resistance towards his assemblage style.

Davis also worked as an art teacher and chairman of the art department at Dorsey High School.

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