|Nationality Turkish, American|
Education University of Paris
Parents Adil Dogancay
Name Burhan Dogancay
|Known for Painting, Photography, Collage and Printmaking|
Notable work Billboard (1964), Symphony in Blue (1987), Stonewall (2009)
Awards Turkish National Medal for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement
Died January 16, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey
Artwork Mavi Senfoni, Brooklyn, Concave Shadow Sculpture
Movement Street art, Pop art, Photorealism, Conceptual art
Showcase burhan do an ay father of wall art
Burhan C. Doğançay (11 September 1929 – 16 January 2013) was a Turkish-American artist. Doğançay is best known for tracking walls in various cities across the world for half a century, integrating them in his artistic work.
- Showcase burhan do an ay father of wall art
- Cnn turk afis burhan do an ay interview 29 12 2010 mpg
- Artistic contribution
- Walls of the World
- Painting and collage
- Tamarind lithography
- Aubusson tapestry
- Art market
- Doğançay Museum
- Works (selection)
- Solo exhibitions (selection)
- Group exhibitions (selection)
Cnn turk afis burhan do an ay interview 29 12 2010 mpg
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, 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. While enrolled at the University of Paris between 1950–1955 from where he obtained a doctorate degree in economics, 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. He starts searching the streets of New York for inspiration and raw materials for his collage and assemblages. Despite working hard, it seems impossible to make a reasonable living. Thomas M. Messer, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for 27 years, significantly influences Dogançay's career, urging him to stay in New York and face the city's challenges. In the 1970s, he starts traveling for his "Walls of the World" photographic documentary project and meets his future wife, Angela, at the Hungarian Ball at the Hotel Pierre, New York. In 2006, a painting by Dogancay titled "Trojan Horse" was gifted by the Turkish government to the OECD in Paris. Dogançay worked and divided the last eight years of his life between his studios in New York and Turgutreis, Turkey, until his death at the age of 83 in January 2013.
Since the early 1960s, Dogançay had been 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 the emotions of the city, frequently withstanding the assault of the elements and the markings left by people. It began, Dogancay said, when something caught his eye during a walk stroll down 86th street in New York:
It was the most beautiful abstract painting I had ever seen. There were the remains of a poster, and a texture to the wall with little bits of shadows coming from within its surface. The color was mostly orange, with a little blue and green and brown. Then, there were the marks made by rain and mud
As a city traveler, for half a century he has been mapping walls in various cities worldwide. In this context, urban walls serve as documents of the respective climate and zeitgeist, as ciphers of social, political and economic change. Part of the intrinsic spirit of his work is to suggest that nothing is ever what it seems. Dogançay's art is wall art, and thus his sources of subjects are real. Therefore, he can hardly be labeled as an abstract artist, and yet at first acquaintance much of his work appears to be abstract. In Dogancay's approach, the serial nature of investigation and the elevation of characteristic elements to form ornamental patterns are essential. Within this, he formulates a consistent continuation of decollagist strategies – effectively the re-contextualised deconstruction of positions related to the nouveau réalistes. Dogançay may have started out as a simple observer and recorder of walls, but he fast made a transition to points where he could express a range of ideas, feelings, and emotions in his work. His vision has continued to broaden, driven both by content and technique.
Walls of the World
In the mid-1970s, Dogançay embarked on what he saw then as his secondary project: photographing urban walls all over the globe. These photographs – which Dogançay called "Walls of the World" – 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. The focus of his "encyclopedic" approach was exclusively directed towards the structures, signs, symbols and images humans leave on walls. This was not due to lack of originality, but because it is here where he found the entire range of the human condition in a single motif, without any cultural, racial, political, geographical, or stylistic, limitations. Dogançay himself got to the heart of his exploration by stating:
Walls are the mirror of society
Dogancay's consequential execution, his radical thematic self-limitation and obsession with capturing what interested him most is comparable to other "documentarians" like August Sander (portraits) and Karl Blossfeldt (plants). His pictures are not snapshots but elaborate segmentations of surfaces, subtle studies of materials, colors, structures and light, sometimes resembling monochromies in their radical reductionism. Over time, this project gained importance as well as content and after four decades now encompasses about 30'000 images from over 100 countries across five continents. In 1982, images from the archive were exhibited as a one-man exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, that later traveled to the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal.
Painting and collage
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 the look of urban billboards, graffiti-covered wall surfaces, as well as broken or neglected entrances such as windows and doors in different series. The only masters with whom he compares himself are those from the last heroic period of art that he experienced and in which he was an active participant, notably Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Dogancay, however, has always preferred to reproduce fragments of wall surface in their mutual relations just as he found them, and with minimal adjustment of color or position, rather than up-end them or combine them casually in the Rauschenberg manner.
In large measure his practice has been one of simulation in the spirit of record-keeping, carried out with the collector's rather than the scavenger's eye. In many cases, his paintings evoke the decay and destruction of the city, the alienated feeling that urban life is in ruins and out of control, and that we cannot put the pieces together again. Pictorial fragments are often detached from their original context and rearranged in new, sometimes inscrutable combinations. So the diversifications of his complex and uniformly experimental painterly oeuvre will always range from photographic realism to abstraction, from pop art to material image/montage/collage. 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 Alexander's Walls consist of clean paper strips and their calligraphically-shaped shadows. These brightly intense curvilinear forms seem to burst forth from flat, solid-colored backgrounds. The graceful ribbonlike shapes take on a three-dimensional quality, especially as suggested by the implied shadows. This series later gave rise to alucobond–aluminum composite shadow sculptures and Aubusson Tapestries.
In 1969, Henry Geldzahler, then head of 20th Century Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art secured for Dogancay a fellowship at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. The workshop, founded by June Wayne, was a ten-year project, attended by approximately seventy artists – among them were Ed Ruscha, Jim Dine, Josef Albers and Louise Nevelson – between 1960 and 1970, conceived to promote lithography in the USA. Dogancay created sixteen lithographs, including a suite of eleven impressions titled "Walls V". These marked a turning point in his career as they essentially are a dialogue with flatness. At the workshop, in part because of the exigencies of the medium, he was obliged to relinquish his casual approach, inspired by his raw subject matter, in favor of organizing his work graphically. This imposed discipline helped him to create arresting new effects that led to more defined flat areas and brighter colors within the images. This reassessment enabled Dogancay to resolve any conflict he might have had between subject and method, and was a profound influence on his future evolution as an artist. A canon of high-colored tonality and visual impact has remained for him the essence of urban contradiction that he has wanted the viewers of his works to share.
In Paris, Dogancay is introduced to Jean-François Picaud, owner of L'Atelier Raymond Picaud in Aubusson, France. Fascinated by Dogançay's Ribbons series as ideal tapestry subjects, he instantly invites Dogançay to submit several tapestry cartoons. In the words of Jean-François Picaud "the art of tapestry has found its leader for the 21st century in Burhan Dogançay". The first three Dogançay tapestries woven in 1984 are an immediate critical success.
In November 2009, one of Dogançay's paintings, Mavi Senfoni (Symphony in Blue), was sold in auction to Murat Ülker for US$1,700,000. This collage relates to an impressive cycle of works within the Dogançay oeuvre, called Cones series, that evolved as a deliberative of his iconic Breakthrough and Ribbon series and as an exhilarant exploration of the urban space. Together with its two sister works, Magnificent Era (collection of Istanbul Modern) and Mimar Sinan (private collection), Symphony in Blue is one of the largest and most expressive works in which Dogançay enters into a dialogue with the history of Turkey. It was executed in 1987 for the first International Istanbul Biennial. Istanbul Modern commissioned composer Kamran Ince to set Mavi Senfoni to music. The solo piano play was premiered by Huseyin Sermet on 26 June 2012. In May 2015, Dogancay's painting Mavi Güzel (Blue Beauty) from the Ribbon Series sold for TL 1,050,000 at Antik AS in Istanbul
Being exclusively dedicated to the work of Burhan Doğançay, and to a minor extent also to the art of his father, Adil, the Doğançay Museum provides a retrospective survey of the artist's various creative phases from his student days up until the present, with about 100 works on display. Established in 2004, the Doğançay Museum in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district is being considered to be Turkey's first contemporary art museum.
Doğançay's works are in the collections of many museums around the world including New York's MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as well as National Gallery of Art in Washington, MUMOK in Vienna, Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, Istanbul Modern in Istanbul, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.