Rustam Khalfin (Uzbekistan) was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 1947 and recently passed away in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he lived. He graduated from the Architectural Institute in Moscow in 1972. The artist was a follower of Vladimir Sterligov, the last survivor of the Russian historical avant-garde, and Khalfin is now considered to be the father of contemporary Kazakhstan art. Both a teacher and a theorist of the new trends of contemporary art and culture, he played an important role in preparing young artists and several Kazakhstan intellectuals. During the Soviet regime he pioneered the organization of non-official art exhibitions in Almaty and took part in many non-institutional exhibitions in Moscow and Leningrad. Khalfin's work has been exhibited throughout the former countries of the USSR and recently in many cities of Europe, including the Venice Biennale 2005.
Recent prominent exhibitions include:
I Dream of the Stans: New Central Asian Video, curated by Leeza Ahmady at Winkelman Gallery, New York; travelled to Museo de Arte El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Live Cinema/The Return of the Image: Video from Central Asia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Retrospective, White Space Gallery, London, U.K.
Soros Center For Contemporary Arts, Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Paradox of Polarity: Contemporary Art from Central Asia, curated by Leeza Ahmady at Bose Pacia, New York
Central Asia Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, Palazzo Pisani, Venice, Italy