Oil on canvas
104 х 104
State Russian Museum
Vasily Vasilievich Kamensky (1884–1961): Poet, prose writer, playwright and artist. One of the first Russian pilots (1910–13).
David Burliuk made Vasily Kamensky’s acquaintance in 1908, at the opening of the Exhibition of Modern Trends in Art in St Petersburg. This meeting had important consequences for the history of Russian Futurism, as Kamensky then introduced David and Vladimir Burliuk to the artist and composer Mikhail Matiushin and his wife, Elena Guro, a poetess and artist, thus laying a start to the first union of Russian Futurists or budetlyane. Kamensky’s poetic and artistic experiences coincided with the searches for new forms advocated by David Burliuk, whose Portrait of Vasily Kamensky became an original painterly manifesto of the artist. The image of the avantgarde poet is transformed into an “icon” and the inscription running along the “halo” reads: “King of Poets Fighter-Bard Futurist Vasily Vasilyevich Kamensky 1917 Republic Russia.”
Burliuk, David Davidovich (1882, Semirotovshchina (Kharkov Gubernia) — 1967, Long Island, United States)
Painter, graphic artist, book illustrator, poet, author of manifestoes, critic. Studied at the Kazan School of Art (1898–1899), Odessa School of Art (1899–1901, 1910–1911), at the Königliche Akademie der Künste in Munich (1902–1903), Fernand Cormon’s studio in Paris (1904) and at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–1914, expelled together with Vladimir Mayakovsky). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists (1906–1907), Fellowship of South Russian Artists (1906–1907), Exhibition of Modern Trends in Art (1908), Golden Fleece Salon (1909), Union of Youth (1910–1912), Der Blaue Reiter in Munich (1912), Der Erste Deutsche Herbstsalon (1913), Salon des Independants (1914), Knave of Diamonds (1912–1916, one of the organisers of the first exhibition in 1910), World of Art (1915, exhibitor). Lived in Japan (1920–1922) and the United States (from 1922).