Burhan Doğançay (Biographical details)

Burhan Doğançay (painter/draughtsman; Turkish; Male; 1929)

Also known as

Dogancay, Burhan; Dogançay, Burhan; Doğançay, Burhan


Artist, born Istanbul, 1929. One of the most important Turkish artists of the twentieth century. Early artistic education from his father, Adil Doğançay (1900-1990), a prominent Turkish painter and his colleague Arif Kaptan, and art courses undertaken at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1950-55). Academic career includes a law degree from Ankara University (1950) and a doctorate in economics from University of Paris (1953). Diplomacy took him to New York in 1962, where he decided to settle and become a full-time artist. Early works were figurative and then main inspiration came from urban walls as a social and cultural record of the times, earning a reputation as 'Father of Wall Art'. Extensive photography, documenting walls from more than 100 countries, and wall-inspired paintings, collages and fumages are characteristic of his work, especially from the Ribbon Series (which started as strips of paper and the shadows cast by them, and evolved into large-scale metallic sculptures), the Cone Series (including Mavi Senfoni [Blue Symphony], Magnificent Era and Mimar Sinan, executed for the 1st Istanbul Biennale in 1987). Other notable series include the Heart and Grego Series as well as the General Urban Walls, the Blue Walls of New York and the Walls of Alexander. Extensive solo, group and online exhibitions and, in 2004, the Doğançay Museum in Beyoğlu (Istanbul), which is said to be Turkey's first contemporary art museum, opened to the public, documenting over 5 decades of his artistic career. His prize-winning work is also found 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. Based in New York, Istanbul and Turgutreis in Southern Turkey (where he has a studio).