Pencil drawing on paper by the important Russian-American artist DAVID BURLIUK (1882-1967), purchased out of a Berkshires estate in Massachusetts. The drawing measures 14 1/2" by 8 3/4" (21" by 14" framed), the lady in soft pencil and the ear study at right in blue colored pencil. It's signed and dated at lower right 27 April 1946, and is evidently after a work (perhaps an etching) by the famous German artist of the 16th century, Albrecht Durer, as Burliuk wrote "(Durer)" between the signature and the date. On the back is an interesting inscription in a modern hand: "Subject: Durer Provenance: Gift from Burliuk to his friend the American artist Mervin Jules". [the latter 1912-1994, well listed]. Burliuk of course is a major painter, and his oils bring into six figures at auction. Drawings are relatively common, as he was evidently a prolific draftsman, and as a result they are affordable. The artist worked in Russia, where he was a member of the avant garde, and subsequently in the northeastern United States, in Florida, and in New Mexico, among other locales, painting still lifes, portraits, and landscapes, many with a whimsical approach. The drawing, dating from relatively late in his lifetime, shows his skill and bridges to his foundation in European art. Condition is very good, with just minor browned areas, one in the neck and one below the image area. Allow for glass reflections, and the right edge where the photos suggest browning is actually clean and stain free---there is just a shadow in the photo. The frame is likely the original one. It is interesting, has minor wear, and a slight cigarette odor. See the net for much more on Burliuk and his paintings and drawings, and on Mervin Jules, the artist's friend. Jules was Baltimore-born and by age 25 was studying with Thomas Hart Benton in New York and exhibiting at the ACA Galleries. Often dark, his art is notable for its social realist commentary, with the disadvantaged frequently portrayed in a sympathetic manner. Mervin Jules was also known for his skilled printmaking, particularly woodblock. He taught from the 1940's through at least the 1970's, and maintained a presence in Provincetown, which might well be how he came into contact with David Burliuk. .
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