“Burhan Doğançay – Signs on the Wall” |  Solo Exhibit – Germany
Speaking Walls at Museum Morsbroich 
 On March 18, 2018, the Museum Morsbroich ( in Leverkusen (20km north of Cologne) opened a solo exhibition with works by Burhan Dogancay under the title “Zeichen an der Wand” (“Signs on the Wall”). The exhibit will remain open until August 26. Most works on view are on loan from the Albertina, Vienna.

Burhan Doğançay, an economist by profession, worked as a self-taught artist until his death in 2013. His topic was the “Urban Walls“, poster and graffiti walls in public space, which he photographed and used as a template for his works.

He traveled in more than 100 countries. Made pictures, collected impressions, changed and questioned. The facades and walls were for him an expression of a society. Subjects passed, were covered over, came under poster layers again to the fore, partly alienated by overpainting or simply by decay. A wall could tell whole stories for the globetrotter Doğançay.

Like the work “Peace Sign in Israel” from 1975, which is now owned by the Museum Morsbroich. It is a confrontation with the Yom Kippur War, implemented in a multi-layered composition of Hebrew characters, the symbol of peace, movie stars and everyday themes, spread together on just over one square meter.

Also owned by the city of Leverkusen is the work “Miro Colors” from 1972, a Doğançay’s occupation with art history. He, who never wanted to join a direction, preferred to keep to himself, took up the idea of ​​the image with the primary colors plus black and used them in his own language of form.

He was a lot closer to the Leverkusen Fluxus artist Wolf Vorstell than other contemporaries. Doğançay kept a mirror in his view of the world of society.

He made this so admirably that in 2004 he opened the first contemporary museum in Turkey, the Doğançay Museum in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. In addition, his work can be seen in numerous museums of modern and contemporary art worldwide. Including in the Museum Morsbroich.


• Sign on the wall

• Open until the 26th of August 2018

• Opening hours: Thursday 11 am to 9 pm (except on public holidays, only until 5 pm).

• Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday to Sunday 11am to 5pm

• Public guided tour every Sunday 3 pm

Photos from the Museum Morsbroich exhibit provided by Angela Doğançay.


Doğançay’s early artistic training was provided by his father and the well-known painter Arif Kaptan. During the early 1950’s Dogançay spent a significant part of his student years in Paris studying art at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere while simultaneously pursuing his studies in law and economics at the University of Paris. During this period he continued to paint regularly and to show his works in several group exhibitions, including joint exhibitions with his father at the Ankara Art Lovers Club. Following a brief career in the diplomatic service which brought him to New York City in 1962, Dogançay decided in 1964 to devote himself entirely to art and to make New York his permanent home. Since the opening of his museum, however, he has been dividing his time between New York, Istanbul, and the south of Turkey where he also maintains a studio in Turgutreis.

Burhan Dogançay is primarily known for a body of work that grew out of his fascination with urban walls. Spanning a period of almost fifty years, this preoccupation was inspired by his travels to more than 100 countries and has been consistently translated into paintings, graphics, Aubusson tapestries, sculptures and photographs. While urban walls are the recurring theme, the different styles in which they are rendered, vary greatly. Dogançay re-creates walls in different series, relating to doors, colors, graffiti-types or the objects which he incorporates in his works. With posters and objects gathered from walls forming the main ingredient for his work, it is only logical that Dogançay’s preferred medium has been predominantly ‘collage’ and to some extent ‘fumage’. In the 70’s and 80’s he gained notoriety with his interpretation of urban walls in his signature ribbons series, which in contrast to his collaged billboard works consist of clean paper strips and their calligraphically-shaped shadows. This series, which grew out of three-dimensional maquettes, later gave rise to alucobond-aluminum shadow sculptures. His collage and fumage works from the cones series form another easily recognizable style.

Urban walls have a special meaning for Dogançay: they 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. This, according to Dogançay, is what makes urban walls monuments to the human experience and his oeuvre an archive of our time. 

Collage: Lightmillennium.Org
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Special Thanks To: Angela Doğançay

On Doğançay‘s Arts by/on the Lightmillennium.Org:

The Dogançay Museum – Based on the museum’s brochure

New York Subway Walls by Burhan DOĞANÇAY

Media Release
Media Release


Ulysses in Manhattan: A tribute to Burhan Dogançay
by Nilüfer Kuyaş

I’m Voice Of The Walls…
Insprired by Burhan Doğançay’s “The Walls of the World” project.
by Bircan Ünver

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– Posted on April 10,  2018.

Turkish Library Museum is under the umbrella of The Light Millennium Organization, which is officially formed based in New York in 2001. NGO Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information since 2005. |

"The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum For Friendship and Peace" project joined, and has been produced under the umbrealla of The Light Millennium Organization effective on October 15, 2015.