Burhan Doğançay

| Turkey |

Born in Istanbul | 1929

Burhan Dogançay obtained his artistic training from his father Adil Doğançay, and Arif Kaptan, both well-known Turkish painters. In his youth, Dogançay played on the Turkish Gençlerbirliği soccer team. In 1950, he received a law degree from the University of Ankara, Turkey. While enrolled at the University of Paris in 1953 from where he obtained a doctorate degree in economics, from 1950 until 1955 he attended art courses at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. During this period he continued to paint regularly and to show his works in several group exhibitions. Soon after his return to Turkey, he participated in many exhibitions, including joint exhibitions with his father at the Ankara Art Lovers Club. Following a brief career with the government (diplomatic service) which brought him to New York City in 1962, Dogançay decided in 1964 to devote himself entirely to art and make New York his permanent home. Today, Dogançay lives and works in Istanbul, New York City and Turgutreis, Turkey.
Ab initio, Dogançay was fascinated by urban walls and chose them as his subject. He saw them as the barometer of our society and a testament to the passage of time, reflecting social, political and economic changes, frequently withstanding the assault of the elements and the markings left by people.
In the mid-seventies, Dogançay embarked on what he saw then as his secondary project: photographing urban walls all over the globe. Over time, this project gained importance as well as content and after four decades now encompasses over 100 countries. These photographs are an archive of our time and the seeds for his paintings, which in and by themselves are also documentary of the era in which we live. With posters and objects gathered from walls forming the main ingredient for his work, it is only logical that Dogançay’s preferred medium has been predominantly ‘collage’ and to some extent ‘fumage’. Dogançay re-creates walls in different series.
In the 1970s and 1980s he gained fame with his interpretation of urban walls in his signature ribbons series, which in contrast to his collaged billboard works such as the Cones Series, Doors Series or Walls of Alexander consist of clean paper strips and their calligraphy|calligraphically-shaped shadows. This series later gave rise to aluminum composite material shadow sculptures and Aubusson Tapestries.


Untitled 1, 1981

gouache on paper, 76,5 x 56,5

Untitled 2, 1981

gouache on paper, 76,5 x 56,5

Blue Stars, 1997

mixed media on canvas, 127 x 90