Yuriev Florian

/ Biography

1929

Born on August 11 in Kirensk, Irkutsk Oblast (Russia). Artist’s mother belonged to the Evenks, an indigenous people of the eastern part of the Russian Federation. Florian Yuriev’s father, biologist, was repressed and exiled to Siberia by the Soviet authorities. Later in 1938, he was arrested for a second time. His third and final arrest ended with suicide.

After school, Yuriev attends the Irkutsk Art College, studying music and painting.

1947

Gives a speech on the synthesis in art on the conference held in Moscow. Same year Yuriev attempts to combine painting, music and linear writing within his compositions.

1948

Participates in the Olympiad for Young Musicians in Eastern Siberia, where receives his first prize.

1950–1956

Studies at the Kyiv State Art Institute on the Faculty of Architecture, but soon decides to switch majors to the Graphic Arts.

1956

Becomes a member of the Union of Architects of the USSR.

Works as a senior, and later chief architect for Kyivproject until 1974.

The late 1950s

Artist actively paints. He comes up with so-called colourwriting, where colour creates a letter that allows one to “write” any verbal piece, including poetic work. “This method started with my passion for poetry. I wrote poems myself, so I tried to structure them with colour. Colour lines formed a picture. Time turned into space. If a poem can unfold in time, its colour can be grasped instantly, with a single look! I began to translate poems of other poets into colour. It turns out that every great poet has a distinctive set of colours”, says Yuriev1.

1960

Designs the aboveground hall of Khreschatyk metro station and decorates it with multicoloured ceramic tiles, which today are preserved only in the lobby. Mosaics made by Valerii Lamakh and Ihor Lytovchenko on the rest of the floors were rejected by the admissions committee and destroyed before the metro station was opened.

1962

Takes an active part in the Republican Review of the Work of Young Architects, held at the Architect’s House in Kyiv. Artist’s work immediately attracts the attention of the union and ideological workers and pieces are destroyed as “being contrary to the principles of Soviet art”. The same year, Yuriev writes a monograph “Music of Light”, in which he explains his own theory of the interaction of image and music. Despite systemic resistance from the party, in 1971 he publishes an article “Music of Colour” in which he demonstrates a sketch of a colour piano designed to create “colour chords that in a rhythmic order continuously change into each other, merging into vivid, expressive colour harmony”2.

1966

Works on the project of the Light Theater. Later, he will apply its spherical form in the architectural image of the Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information.

Yuriev organizes a concert of two colour instruments. Instead of music, the audience observed colours flowing and changing from one to another on a special screen.

1969

Kyiv City Council approves the Kyiv emblem, created by Florian Yuriev in collaboration with sculptor Boris Dovgan.

1970

Becomes a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR.

The late 1960s — early 1970s

Designs palace of culture for Darnytsia silk spinning mill and one of the residential districts in Nyvky area in Kyiv. Yuriev’s most famous building is the Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information, located in Kyiv near the Lybidska metro station. The facade of the institute is decorated with monumental reliefs of Borys Dovgan. The last project, which Yuriev calls his favorite architectural work is not built as of today.

Unlike in architecture, Yuriev’s painting embodied the idea the mix of colour and music, often illustrating author’s theoretical works.

1974

Graduates from the Moscow Polygraphic Institute, defending his “Colour Text in the Book Art” dissertation.

1976–1991

Teaches on the Faculty of Graphic Arts in the Kyiv department of Ivan Fedorov Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute.

1980

Yuriev’s doctoral thesis gets accused of excessive formalism and is not allowed for defense at the Lviv Polygraphic Institute.

The early 1990s

Starts crafting violins, also works on composition and vocals with known Ukrainian and foreign masters. Within this time, Borys Dovgan portrays Yuriev as a violinist.

1991

Starts working as a researcher at Leo Medved Institute of Ecohygiene and Toxicology Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, where holds position to this day.

1992

Becomes a member of the National Ukrainian Music Union.

1997

Cambridge International Biography Center awards Yuriev with a gold medal and an honorary doctorate diploma in arts for his personal achievements in culture and art.

2000

The American Biographical Institute declares Yuriev the “Person of the Year”.


Today Yuriev is a head of the Research Laboratory of the National Ukrainian Music Union. He is also a founder and Vice-President of the International Academy “Modus coloris”, Chairman of the Association of Master-Artists in the Production of Stringed Musical Instruments of the National Ukrainian Music Union.


1 H. Skliarenko. Colours and Sounds by Master Florian Yuriev // Fine Arts. 2008. № 3. Pp. 76–78.

2 Yuriev F. (1962). The Music of colour. Nauka i zhyttia [Science and Life], No. 1.

/ Bibliography
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  3. Belousov A. The Worlds of Florian Yuriev. (2001). Ukrainska muzychna hazeta [Ukrainian Music Newspaper], No. 4. [in Ukrainian]
  4. Bohorad Ya. (1965). Melody of Light. Radianska Ukraina [Soviet Ukraine] dated December 30. [in Ukrainian]
  5. Dovhan R. (1969). The secret of the poem of fire. Literaturna Ukraina [Literary Ukraine] dated June 24. [in Ukrainian]
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  9. Lesiuv M. (1966). Concert of colour music in Kyiv. Nash svit [Our word] dated January 30. [in Ukrainian]
  10. Lesiuv M. (2003). An unusual concert in Kyiv. Kurier Lubelski dated January 19. [in Polish]
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  12. Pedan Yu. (1991). On the hunt for freethinkers. Arkhitektura Ukrainy [Architecture of Ukraine], No. 3 (442), pp. 56–60. [in Ukrainian]
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  15. Republican review of creativity of young architects. Construction and architecture, 1962, No. 6 (90), p. 38. [in Russian]
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  23. Skliarenko H., Kulivnyk M. (compls.) (2016). Another History. Art of Kyiv from the Thaw to the Perestroika: [exhibition catalogue]. National Art Museum of Ukraine, “Dukat” auction house. Kyiv, 187 p. [in Ukrainian]
  24. Skliarenko H. (2008). Colours and Sounds by Master Florian Yuriev. Obrazotvorche mystetstvo [Fine Arts], No. 3. [in Ukrainian]
  25. Skliarenko H. (2015). Yuriev Florian Illich. Art of the Sixties in Ukraine. Comp. by Balashova O., Herman L. Kyiv, Osnovy Publishing House, pp. 264–273. [in Russian]
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  27. Three Art Generations in the Collection of Tatiana and Borys Grynyov. Comp. by Balashova O., Hleba H. (2016). Kyiv, Osnova Publishing House, p. 117. [in Ukrainian]
    Yakovlenko K. (2016). Florian Yuriev: “Modern architecture of Kyiv is piracy”. KORYDOR. [in Ukrainian]
  28. Yunakov I., Balashova O. (2015). Florian Yuriev: “A bit ‘informal’ — well, it’s good!” Art of the Ukrainian Sixties. Comp. by Balashova O., Herman L. Kyiv, Osnova Publishing House, pp. 362–367. [in Russian]
  29. Yuriev F. (1968). Colours Around Us. Radianska Ukraina [Soviet Ukraine] dated September 13. [in Ukrainian]
  30. Yuriev F. (1965). The Firebird. Literaturna Ukraina [Literary Ukraine] dated May 25. [in Ukrainian]
  31. Yuriev F. (1962). The Music of colour. Nauka i zhyttia [Science and Life], No. 1. [in Ukrainian]
  32. Yuriev F. (1971). Music of Light. Kyiv: Muzychna Ukraina publ., 160 p. [in Russian]
  33. Yuriev F. (2007). The Colour image of information. Series “Harmony of Spheres”, volume Two. Kyiv: Ecogintox publ., 320 p. [in Russian]
  34. Zelinskyi Yu. (2004). Romanticism of a professional. Vseukrainska shchodenna hazeta [All-Ukrainian daily newspaper] dated January 17. [in Ukrainian]
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