Picturing the world with Burhan Doğançay
The exhibition displays black-and-white photographs shot by Burhan Doğançay (above) in all corners of the world over the course of 40 years.Istanbul’s Doğançay Museum is hosting a major exhibition with photographs by one of the most important figures in Turkish painting, the late Burhan Doğançay, titled “Picture the World – Burhan Doğançay as Photographer.” The show comes on the museum's 10th anniversary.
Under the sponsorship of BNP Parisbas-TEB, the exhibition features 96 black-and-white photographs taken in all corners of the world during the past 40 years. Included are numerous key works from the artist’s unique photographic archive, some of which are being shown for the very first time.
The exhibition consists of three distinct and meaningful presentations: “Walls of the World,” “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Ironworkers,” as well as Doğançay’s observations during his travels. A highlight of the exhibition are the images with a focus on urban walls as they offer an especially vivid illustration of Doğançay’s artistic practice and his use of photography in particular.
Doğançay, who died in 2013, was fascinated by urban walls and chose them as his subject. He saw them as the barometer of society and a testament to the passage of time, reflecting social, political and economic changes, as they frequently withstood the assault of the elements and marks left by people.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he gained fame with his interpretation of urban walls in his signature ribbons series, which consisted of clean paper strips and their calligraphy-shaped shadows.
The selected works will enable the visitor to observe the artist’s radical perspectives and to experience his passion for the urban space, love of travel, people, and adventure. Despite their differing subject matters, these photographs establish insightful interconnections and come together to form a unified whole.
Exclusively dedicated to the work of Doğançay, as well as to some of the pieces of art of his father, the Doğançay Museum has long provided a retrospective survey of the artist’s various creative phases from his student days up until his demise. The museum, which is located in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, contains about 100 works.
Doğançay’s works are found in the collections of many museums around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, as well as the National Gallery of Art in Washington; MUMOK in Vienna; the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris; Istanbul Modern in Istanbul; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, as well as the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
The accompanying catalogue in English features in-depth analyses by international scholars including Edelbert Köb, former director of MUMOK Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and Marilyn S. Kushner, head of the Department of Prints and Photographs at the New-York Historical Society.
The exhibition, which opened on Nov. 25, will continue until June 7, 2015, in the newly restyled museum.