“At the Crossroads of Asia and Europe”: 20th Century Masterpieces from A. Kasteyev State Museum of Arts in Kazakhstan

The exhibition showcases the versatility and distinctiveness of the cultures found within one of the Caspian region’s largest and most rapidly developing countries.

At the Crossroads of Asia and Europe, brings together some of the most vibrant cultural and historical examples of 20th century Kazakh visual art, featuring the masterpieces of Abylkhan Kasteyev, Moldakhmet Kenbayev, Aisha Galimbayeva, Tursun Abuov, Sabur Mambeyev, and many others teaching about the richness and creativity of 20th century masters. Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the U.S. and Consulate General of Kazakhstan in New York. Dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of Astana.

The exhibition is free and open to the public through July 15 at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park S, New York, NY 10003. Gallery hours Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

FEATURED ARTIST – Abylkhan Kasteyev

Born on January 14, 1904 in the village of Chizhin near the town of Jarkent (now Almaty region) into the poor cattle-breeder’s family, Abylkhan loved to paint from childhood. Besides, he loved doing various crafts. His mother, Aigansha, weaved carpets, koshma, alash, sirmaki, various decorations of the yurt, applied patterns on them, and made wicker mats from the taunyard and chia. The boy from childhood watched all these processes, and helped his mother to cut out the ornament and select pictures.

From 1929 to 1931 Kasteyev studied at the art studio of Nikolai Gavrilovich Khludov (who then lived in Kazakhstan). Early having lost his father, he began his career first as a farm laborer at the bai, and then as a worker in the construction of the Turksib railway.

In 1930, Abylkhan Kasteyev made his first trip to Moscow. In 1934, he participated in the meeting of amateur talents in Alma-Ata, and in the republican contest for the creation of Abay’s portrait and illustrations for his works. B esides, he took part in the first exhibition of works of Kazakhstan artists, which took place at the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow. Since that time, Abylkhan Kasteyev has become a regular participant in international, all-Union, republican and city exhibitions.

In 1966, A. Kasteyev was awarded the State Prize of the KazSSR for a series of watercolors “On the Land of Kazakhstan”, the Order of the October Revolution (1967), two Orders of the Red Banner of Labor, and the Order of the Badge of Honor.

The artist died on November 2, 1973 in Alma-Ata. His name bears schools, streets, and museums of the Republic. Among them is the Shymkent Art College, and the Museum of Arts in Zharkent, the new State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan (1976), and the State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan (1984). His works are in many of the largest museums in Kazakhstan, as well as Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, and private collections in the near and far abroad.


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