Burhan Doğançay was born in Istanbul in 1929. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Paris, Department of Law in 1950. In 1953, he completed his doctoral work in the field of Economics. Burhan Dogançay’s early artistic training was provided by his father and the well-known painter Arif Kaptan. In 1958, he was responsible for the Turkish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Brussels, for the Touristic Visitors Office in the USA between 1959-1962, and served as Office Director for the Turkish Tourism Information Office in New York between 1962-1964. 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. In 1965,the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York purchased a work by Burhan Dogançay, which for the first time was included in the permanent collection of a major museum. Burhan Dogançay’s works are part of over 70 prominent museum collections around the world including The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, The British Museum in London, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and The Guggenheim Museum in New York. In the 70’s and 80’s he gained notoriety with his interpretation of urban walls in his signature ribbons series. He produced printmaking at the Çamlıca House of Art in 1991 and 2000.
The Dogançay Museum, Turkey’s first modern art museum, officially opened its doors to the public in 2004. The museum, located in a 150-year-old five-story historical building in Beyoğlu, displays the works of his father Adil Doğançay with a small retrospective of Burhan Doğançay's works. The works of the artist in the museum, cover his fifty years of artistic development, starting with his early figurative paintings, to his works and photographs inspired by the urban walls. After Burhan Doğançay's lithography works were included in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2004, with his work Ribbon Mania being included, in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2012, Burhan Dogançay is now the first Turkish artist to have entered this collection. From 1962 until his passing in 2013, he continued to produce art in his studios in New York and Istanbul.