David Burliuk Oil Painting, ca. 1961
Appraised Value: $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:30)
Paintings & Drawings
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
GUEST: I brought in a painting that my mother bought a number of years ago in Nashville, Tennessee. And she fell in love with it and thought it was just a happy painting, and actually met the artist with his wife at the gallery. And that's a little postcard of him at that gallery where she purchased the painting.
APPRAISER: And who's that?
APPRAISER: Burliuk, right. And is that his wife?
GUEST: And his wife.
APPRAISER: And so was he in Nashville for a period of time, or...?
GUEST: I don't know how long he was there. They were doing a show just for him at that gallery, and so she just fell in love with this and had to have it. I do remember her saying that he was very personable, and I think she said the wife did not speak English.
APPRAISER: Oh, really? David Burliuk was born in Russia in 1882. And he studied in Russia, in Odessa and Moscow, and even in Paris at the …cole des Beaux-Arts. He also had, very early on, the notoriety of being a member of what was called the Blue Rider group. And they were a very important group of German Expressionist artists in Munich. And so he was in the camaraderie of Kandinsky and Paul Klee, so that was quite an exciting thing.
GUEST: Oh, really? Wow.
APPRAISER: And at that time, he was painting in a more Fauvist style, more abstract, very colorful, very textural. And he was so avant-garde that he was actually eventually kicked out of the Moscow Institute.
GUEST: Oh, no.
APPRAISER: And then became part of an even greater avant-garde group called the Futurists, who were very interested in the Machine Age and urban life and things like that. He was quite a character. He was a poet, he was an art critic.
GUEST: I didn't know all that.
APPRAISER: He decides to leave Moscow before World War I, and he travels in the South Seas and Siberia and all kinds of exotic places. And finally, in 1922, he comes to the United States. And he spends most of his life living on Long Island, which is rather interesting.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: His early work rarely exists, because much of it was destroyed during the Russian Revolution. So after he came to the United States, he started depicting genre subjects like this. And they usually hearkened back to his life in Russia. What's really exciting about this painting is the impasto, which is this heavily painted area here and here and here. And all of this adds great dimension to the painting. And in terms of his work, it makes it more interesting and in fact more valuable.
GUEST: Oh, really? Ah.
APPRAISER: It's on a board, and I also think he probably made the frame.
GUEST: I know it came on the frame.
APPRAISER: Yeah, and it looks like an artist-made frame, with the sort of chalky painted finish. And of course we have the signature here in the lower center area.
APPRAISER: What did your mother pay? Do you know what she paid?
GUEST: She paid $300. Yes.
APPRAISER: $300, okay.
GUEST: And we've never had it appraised.
APPRAISER: And that was in 1961.
APPRAISER: And we figure that probably he would have painted this around that time.
GUEST: That time, uh-huh.
APPRAISER: He's extremely popular because, being of Russian descent, his work is actually now collected by Russians.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: They are very much into the international scene, but Russians never collect American art.
GUEST: Oh. I didn't know that.
APPRAISER: So once they entered the marketplace, the prices for his work has escalated.
GUEST: My goodness.
APPRAISER: If you were to go to a gallery today, I think that you would have to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000.
GUEST: I can't believe it. Oh, my goodness. That's great.
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