Urban Walls: A Generation of Collage in Europe and America
by Burhan Dogancay, Brandon Taylor
ISBN 1555952887 (1-55595-288-7)
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Hardcover, Hudson Hills, 2008
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Book summary: Burhan Dogancay with Francois Dufrene, Raymond Hains, Robert Rauschenberg, Mimmo Rotella, Jacques Villegle, Wolf Vostell. Having discovered urban walls as an inspiration when he first came to New York in the early 1960s, it has remained the central motif of Burhan Dogancay's art for nearly fifty years. His art, collage paintings created by bringing together layers of colorful posters, objects, graffiti and other materials collected from cities all over the world, communicates messages about contemporary life while also being studies in texture, shadow, color, and light. Pulling materials from his many travels over his lifetime, a poster from Sartre's play Huis Clos found in Paris in the 1950s, to fragments of graffiti from New York's Soho neighborhood, Dogancay's urban walls express the many moods of that moment in time and are an integral part of a cultural dialogue that occurred both in America and in post- War Europe as conditions arose that gave a new vigor to the art of collage and decollage, or ungluing of paper. Providing an extensive look at the history of collage and its relationship with the art of decollage, this title examines the movement through the work of some of its pivotal participants, artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Mimmo Rotella, Francois Dufrene, Jacques Villegle and with this context is able to frame the work of New York-based, Turkish-born artist, Burhan Dogancay. As art historian Brandon Taylor writes, Dogancay differs [from his contemporaries] somewhat as his art is an anthropological reflection that celebrates the urban surface as an already pictorial structure, the poetry he perceives at the level of the street is that of anonymity organizing itself as art.
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