Burhan Dogançay is primarily known for a body of work that grew out of his fascination with urban walls; they have a special meaning to him and it is that observation that he transformed into art. Walls serve as a testament to the passage of time, reflecting social, political and economic change. They also bear witness to the assault of the elements and to the markings left by people. No other artist has explored urban walls as thoroughly and passionately as Dogançay.
Burhan Dogancay is an unconventional artist who played an important role in the development of the 1960s American art scene. Keeping his promise to his father, he studies law at the University of Ankara an d painting must remain just an enjoyable pastime. After graduating he moved to Paris to study economics. In the Parisian whirlwind of the 1950s he spends his time in the company of artists and attending the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. Charmed by his bohemian milieu he takes part in many of its exhibitions.
In 1962, his work took him to New York and he developed a personal style and found great inspiration for his work to follow. In the early 1970s Dogancay organized his paintings graphically with flatter areas and brighter colors. Dogacay is the recipient of many awards and his works are included in the permanent colelctions of the world's most prominent museums.
The Dogancay Museum, Istanbul, which opened in 2004, is Turkey’s first contemporary art museum. It provides a general overview of a small portion of Dogançay’s prolific oeuvre. This mini-retrospective spans five decades of Dogançay’s artistic evolution starting with his early figurative paintings up to his wall-inspired works as well as photographs.
Selected One-Man Museum Exhibitions:
1982: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (Les murs murmurent, ils crient, ils chantent…)
1982: Le Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (Les murs murmurent, ils crient, ils chantent…)
1983: Musee d’Art Contemporain, Montreal ((Les murs murmurent, ils crient, ils chantent…)
1989: Seibu Museum –Yurakucho Art Forum, Tokyo
1992: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (Walls & Doors 1990-91)
2001: Dolmabahce Cultural Center, Istanbul (Retrospective)
2001: Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH (Dogançay – Wall Paintings)
2003: Siegerlandmuseum, Siegen (Walls of the World)
2008: Pera Museum, Istanbul (Collage-Decollage /Dogançay -Villegle)
2009: CentrePasquArt, Biel (Collage-Decollage/ Dogançay -Villegle)
Selected Museum Collections:
Benaki Museum, Athens
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland
Dogançay Museum, Istanbul
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winthertur, Switzerland
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna
Graphische Sammlung ETH, Zurich
Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
John & Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Fla.
Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH
Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich
Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern
Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
MoMA, New York
MuMoK Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna
Musee de Grenoble, Grenoble
Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
National Gallery of Artm Wahsington, D.C.
Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palmsprings, Cal.
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
Staatliche Sammlungen Dresden, Dresden
Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Ga.
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Michigan, Ann Arbor