Burhan Cahit Doğançay was born in Istanbul in 1929 and educated in both law and art in Paris. He has lived in New York for over forty years. He was primarily known for a body of work that grew out of his fascination with urban walls, which had a special meaning to him. 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 with the same passion and intensity as Doğançay. In addition to painting, his major life achievement had been to relate art to a deeper understanding of humanity. By photographing urban walls of the world, he assembled a unique archive of some 40,000 slides of walls in over 100 countries during the past three decades.
Doğançay was the recipient of numerous awards. Most notable was the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 1995 by the President of the Republic of Turkey. His work appeared in numerous publications, the most recent one Urban Walls with text by Brandon Taylor (Hudson Hills Press, 2008) was awarded a Gold medal by the IAPHC. Exhibited worldwide, Doğançay’s work is represented in prominent museum and corporate collections around the world.
He divided his time between New York and Istanbul, where the Doğançay Museum (Turkey’s first private modern art museum: www.dogancaymuseum.org) was inaugurated in 2004. Burhan Doğançay passed away in 2013.