Burhan Dogancay (Turkish, 1929-2013)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTOR
Burhan Dogancay (Turkish, 1929-2013)


Burhan Dogancay (Turkish, 1929-2013)
signed and dated 'B Dogancay 1982' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
40 ¼ x 50 1/8 in. (102.2 x 127.3 cm.)

Painted in 1982
Private collection (by whom acquired directly from the artist),
and thence by descent.
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Post lot text
The artist’s wife has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Michael Jeha
Michael Jeha

Lot Essay

The Ribbons series, created by the Turkish master Burhan Dogancay during 1972-1989 depict trompe l’oeil collages featuring torn and ripped paper shreds that seem to puncture through the composition, projecting forward and emitting calligraphic shadows with a careful interplay of geometric forms. While also evoking a torn poster board, these works also captures the sinuous essence of Islamic calligraphy.

Coming from Burhan Dogancay’s most coveted Ribbons series, the present work is a beautiful and powerful work. The artist dedicated his oeuvre in making sure every work was uniquely different for its experimentation in optical contrasts in shadow and light. His fascination with walls, the main subject matter inherent in his works, is a larger exploration of socio-cultural transformations where word and image, culture and visual media coincide. He finds the pulse of a society’s history through the writing, scribbling and tearing of the wall’s structures, materialising this within photographic realism, abstraction and pop art elements in his works, and very much resonating with work of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. These intense forms take on three dimensional qualities, concentrated tightly within the central composition and that burst out of the fat solid white background. Focusing on the natural
component of light found within its shadows, he is able to create the presence of shadows. The title, SST,derives from the supersonic transport that was introduced to aviation in the 1970s, known for its lightning speed transporting passengers faster than the speed of sound. The sharp contours of the fragmented paper and its piercing black narrow shadows also convey a sense of quickness and brevity.

Whether referencing street culture or featuring abstracted, undecipherable elements, his works derive from his personal imagination, making each work unique in its process and composition. Applying modern styles and techniques to the language of contemporary art, his works harken to a spirit of timelessness, memory and explore the subconscious. The carefully archived history that the artist presents is an energetic language into notions of innovation and nostalgia. His artistic language is directionless in its form however drifting in so much that it derives from contemporary art principles.

Originally a diplomat in New York in the early 1960s, Dogancay gave up his career to dedicate himself to artmaking, finding his inspiration from the city streets, in its posters, graffiti and doors. The Ribbons series emerged after the artist devoted his oeuvre to textured wall and collage works featuring weather beaten, dirty urban walls, as he scavenged the street for real found object materials. Apart from his paintings, the artist also has since 1975 documented over 114 countries, resulting in the largest photo archive of urban surfaces resulting in over 25,000 images. Exploring this subject for a span of over fifty years, Dogancay is like no other artist in his passion and intensity to document urban spaces in compelling compositions.

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