Burliuk, David

David Burliuk is a major figure in the artistic avant-garde of the early twentieth century. Born in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and of Cossack descent, Burliuk always stressed his Ukrainian ancestry and the link with his homeland. The inspiration for his vision of a new beauty was partly inspired by a love of Scythian art, Cossack history, and the Ukrainian steppe. Burliuk extolled a “wild, new beauty” that he associated with the forceful, simple and direct as expressed in folk creativity and ancient forms.

Burliuk spent two years in Japan before immigrating to the United States in 1922. His landscapes of the Ukrainian steppe, the United States and Japan, express a fascination with powerful hidden energies within nature and with invisible realms outside normal human perception. In 1926, as the first battery-operated radios appeared, Burliuk announced the creation of the Radio-Style. In the following decades he turned to a naïve realism, painting scenes of New England towns and reminiscences of Ukrainian village life. Full of bright colors, these paintings radiate a sense of recaptured joy and tranquility. Towards the end of his life, Burliuk produced many still life paintings, his final tribute to natural beauty and the 
mysterious powers of the earth. 

Burliuk died on Long Island, New York in 1967. Many have commented on the artist’s inventiveness, his vigor of expression, and his astonishing productivity. His works are widely held in museums and private collections around the world, particularly in Ukraine, North America, Russia, and Japan.

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