David Davidovich Burliuk represented a new type of an artist at the beginning of the 20th century. An artist and a poet, he was making manifests, was creating extravagant events, was printing out experimental collections and was organizing exhibitions. The artist claimed that he had painted 16000 paintings. He started out as an impressionist but soon became one of the major masters of Russian avant-garde. Wassily Kandinsky called him ‘the father of Russian futurism’ and this title, not without his own efforts, became permanent in the history of art.
The exhibition starts with his early pieces. His heritage consists of a number of impressionistic works. In a famous leaflet ‘The Voice of an Impressionist: In Defense of Painting’ dated 1908 Burliuk stated that impressionism was the starting point of the renovation of Russian Art.
The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to the evolution of the master towards futurism. Futurists were denying realism and everything ‘old in the art’, their main aim was to convey the movements using painting resources. Futurists were shocking the public not only by the novelty of their painting and poetry but also by their looks: painting the faces and choosing provocatively bright colours. The differentiating features of Burliuk’s outfits became a cylinder and an old monocle.
The next part of the exhibition shows the works made during his immigration period. In 1918 the painter together with his family moved from Ufa and headed to the East across the country, organizing exhibitions and literary evenings in many cities. In 1920 Burliuk founded himself in Japan. Van Gogh was already known here and many of young Japanese painters were familiar with futurism and cubism. Burliuk again enjoys his central place in the artistic life as Japanese avant-gardists welcomed the famous ‘father of Russian futurism’. But his main aim was America. In the USA he created a number of his monumental futuristic works (his painting ‘The Workers’ was restored specially for this exhibition). But he was not destined to become ‘the father of American futurism’ because the critics were not inspired. Then Burliuk decided to work out his own ‘radio-style’ which served to reflect the atmosphere of modern times with the tunes ‘can be heard in Australia and Russian heath’. But this invention also brought neither recognition nor the followers.
Unlike many of his avant-garde work fellows, Burliuk never broke up with his plein-air avant-garde manner and realistic traditions in painting. He was often blamed for the eclecticism and the absence of coherent manner. Nevertheless, no matter how he was creating, his hallmark was active artistic texture according to his our definition ‘thorny, shell-like, hooked, earthy’.
Speaking about Burliuk it is impossible to avoid his poetry. As a separate part of the exhibition there are editions of Burliuk - the first edition of his personal draft of verse collection with original drawings ‘Donkey’s Tail’ and a collection ‘Milk of Mares’.
The Museum of Russian Impressionism is trying to highlight the backbone style and chronological events in the art of the painter without trying to demonstrate the whole retrospective review. The exhibition features the most quality and exemplary works of Burliuk’s evolvement, his formed and late years.