Ukrainian-born artist David Burliuk was a first-generation Russian Futurist and Neo-Primitivist, also known as an illustrator, publicist and author. He is often described as “the father of Russian Futurism” and is recognized as a leader among the Russian Avant-Garde. Like their Italian comrades, the Russian Futurists were fascinated with the dynamism, speed, and restlessness of modern machines and urban life. Along with his brothers, he initiated the Futurist literary group Hylaea in 1910, whose members included important poets and playwrights Vasily Kamensky, Velimir Khlebnikov, Aleksey Kruchenykh and Vladimir Mayakovsky.
As a descendent of a privileged Ukrainian family, Burliuk was fortunate enough to receive a well-rounded education that informed his interest in classical studies and later his mature work. Burliuk formally studied at Art Schools in Kazan and Odessa (1898-1904) and the Royal Academy in Munich (1902-1903), where he met visionary artist Wassily Kandinsky. He later studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1904) under Fernand Cormon.
During the revolutionary years from 1917 to 1922, the artist traveled to Siberia, and later Japan, where he spent time painting, organizing exhibitions and promoting Futurism. In 1922, Burliuk emigrated to America at the age of forty-one and settled in New York City, were his eclectic mix of Cubist, Futurist and Expressionist styles captured events unfolding during the early 20th century in the United States. He developed a distinctly different style from Futurism, as he painted rural and domestic scenes of everyday life. With his unique approach, he soon emerged as one of the leading artists of the Social Realism movement.
After nearly twenty years in the city, Burliuk moved to Southampton, New York where he continued to live and paint. In 1967, the year of his death, Burliuk was posthumously honored with an induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The work of David Burliuk is now represented in several international museum collections, including the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, U.K., the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe, Japan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY.