Inspired by the graffiti- and poster-covered walls of New York City in the 1960s, the Turkish-born artist Burhan Doğançay mined the expressive possibilities of street art in works that spanned a half century. The paintings in Ribbons, a series he made between 1972 and 1989, are trompe-l’oeil collages, in which forms evocative of ribbons or slashed and torn paper seem to break through the plane of a wall and to project forward into our space. In Ribbon Mania of 1982, the play of light and shade created by the painted forms and their cast shadows against a pale gray ground underscore the illusion of three-dimensionality. While the markings on the canvas at once suggest posters peeling from a wall, Doğançay’s “Ribbons" also recall Islamic calligraphy.
Signature: Burhan Dogancay 1982
Collection of the artist, Istanbul (until about 2004–6; sold to Kaufmann); Benjamin Kaufmann, Switzerland (by 2006–11; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fifty Years of Collecting Islamic Art," September 23, 2013–January 26, 2014, no catalogue.