Burhan Doğançay

Walls of the World

Traces of everyday life characterize the visual aesthetics in the work of Burhan Doğançay (1929–2013): building walls covered with graffiti, torn posters in subway stations, and slogans in countless languages on the walls of the most diverse cities. His sojourn in Israel in 1975 marks the beginning of a photographic documentation of the walls of the world, a lifelong project that resulted in forty thousand photographs from 114 countries and a unique archive. The photographs served Doğançay as a basis for his drawn and painted oeuvre that depicts, cuts down, reworks, and reinterprets walls all over the world. Observing walls, appropriating them, and transforming them into art simultaneously result in a paradoxical and humanistic message: walls that were built to divide become mediums of a universal language of humanity.

In 2021 several works by Doğançay were donated to the Kunst Museum Winterthur. Since the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva also received a comprehensive series of works by the artist, both museums are now collaborating to present their new acquisitions in an exhibition: following a presentation of the works in Geneva in fall/winter 2023, the Kunst Museum Winterthur will show work by the artist in the first half of 2024. Both museums will publish a bilingual catalog with the aim of introducing this important Turkish artist to a larger audience in Switzerland and abroad, contributing to overcoming walls—which in Switzerland are likened to trenches.

Curator: David Schmidhauser


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Burhan Doğançay

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Kunst Museum Winterthur

Das Kunst Museum Winterthur ist eine wahre Schatzkammer der Kunst vom 17. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart. Hier entdecken Sie einzigartige Meisterwerke der Malerei und Skulptur und können mit der Kunst in einen instensiven Dialog treten. Minimal ...

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