David Burliuk

Born: 1882, Semirotovka (Kharkiv Province)
Died: 1967, Long Island (USA)

Painter, graphic artist, writer, poet. Elder brother of Vladimir Burliuk. Known as the “father of Russian Futurism.” Born on a farmstead in Kharkiv Province (1882) to David Burliuk (manager of the estate of Count Alexander Mordvinov in the village of Chernyanka) and Lyudmila Mikhnevich (amateur artist who contributed to the first exhibitions of avant-garde art). Allegedly descended from Tatars who could trace their roots back to Genghis Khan and later settled in the Crimean village of Burliuk (now Kashtany). Lost his right eye in a childhood fight with his brother Nikolai, who later became a poet and was shot by the Bolsheviks (1920). Attended grammar school in Sumy (1894), Tambov (1894–96) and Tver (1896–98). Studied at the Kazan School of Art (1898), Odessa School of Art (1899–1901), Königliche Akademie der Künste and Anton Ažbè’s school in Munich (1902–04), Fernand Cormon’s studio in Paris (1904) and under Leonid Pasternak and Abram Arkhipov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1910–14, expelled with Vladimir Mayakovsky for promoting avant-garde art). Held such early exhibitions of avant-garde art as Wreath-Stephanos in Moscow (1907) and Link in Kiev (1908). Published a manifesto in support of Post-Impressionism entitled The Voice of an Impressionist: In Defence of Painting (1908). Founded the Hylæa group of Futurist writers and artists, named after the Ancient Greek word for Chernyanka (1908–10). Edited and illustrated Futurist booklets (1910–14). Married Maria (Marussia) Elenevskaya (1912). Wrote an essay entitled Die Wilden Russlands, extolling Russian folk art and the “barbaric” art of the Scythians, Assyrians and Egypt, which was translated into German by Wassily Kandinsky and published in Der blaue Reiter almanac (1912). Spoke at public debates held by the Knave of Diamonds at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow (1912–13) and embarked on a Futurist tour of Russia with Vasily Kamensky and Vladimir Mayakovsky (1913–14). Designed anti-German propaganda prints at the start of the First World War (1914). Lived in the Urals (1915–16), Moscow (1917), Siberia (1918–19), Japan (1920–22) and the United States (1922–67). Wrote books on art, prose and poetry (1924–30). Adopted American citizenship (1930). Published the Color and Rhyme magazine with his wife (1930–66). Died in hospital in Southampton on Long Island and had his ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean (1967). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1906). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists (1906), Fellowship of South Russian Artists (1906–07), Wreath-Stephanos (1907–08), Link (1908), Moscow Fellowship of Artists (1908), Exhibition of Modern Trends in Art (1908), Golden Fleece Salon (1909), Vladimir Izdebsky Salons (1909–11), Triangle (1910), Neue Künstlervereinigung in Munich (1910), Galerie der Sturm (1910–14), Union of Youth (1910–16), Knave of Diamonds (1910–17), Galerie Paul Cassirer in Berlin (1911), World of Art (1911, 1915), Der blaue Reiter (1912), Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (1913), Galerie Der Sturm (1913), Salon des Indépendants (1914), 1915 (1915), Exhibition of Pictures of Left-Wing Tendencies (1915), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922), exhibitions of Russian art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1922) and Brooklyn Museum in New York (1923), Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia (1927) and one-man shows in Japan (1921) and the United States (1920s–60s).

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