A Selection from the Collection
Burhan Doğançay, (1929-2013) The Magnificent Era, 1987

Acrylic, collage, gouache and fumage on canvas
162 x 361 x 9 cm
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection
Eczacıbaşı Group Donation



Burhan Doğançay received his first training in art from his father Adil Doğançay and from the artist Arif Kaptan. He continued to study and practice art at the same time as he was studying for a degree in law from Ankara University and a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris. Despite a common misconception, Burhan Doğançay’s approach to art is not purely abstract. He makes marks and signs of humanity his point of departure, reiterating them in his canvases and intervening in them as either a participant or a bystander. He is particularly attracted to walls because of their stratified record of human life; their layered messages to society communicated in different materials and by different methods; and because of the unpredictable, corrosive effects that time and nature may have on their visual evidence. Advertising, political posters, graffiti and street art, and censorship, constantly change the landscape of a city’s walls. What particularly fascinates Doğançay is the conflict and the quest for communication between individuals, establishment institutions, the physical construct of a city, and nature. This is why we must regard Burhan Doğançay’s work not as “abstract art” but rather as art that is emotional, social, and political. "Magnificent Age", one of three striking examples from Doğançay’s "Cones" series (the other two being "Symphony in Blue" and "Mimar Sinan") was produced from the pages of newspapers and magazines about Ottoman art.