Burhan Dogancay (1929–2013)

Turkish abstract painter Burhan Dogancay has died at the age of eighty-three. Dogancay, who was born in Istanbul in 1929, attended University of Ankara and then went on to study economics at the University of Paris. In 1962, he became the director of the Turkish republic’s tourism office in Paris, but decided to become a full-time artist shortly after. His paintings focus on the subject of old urban walls covered in graffiti and posters. According to Paul Vitello for the New York Times, Dogancay once stated: “Wall messages are constantly changing, new ones replacing old ones, old ones covered up or distorted by the elements. The whole human experience has been reflected on walls, beginning with cave drawings.” His work has been shown in over seventy museums including the British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.