1952 - 2002
Born in Samara (formerly Kuybyshev) (RU), died in Almaty (KZ).
Sergey Maslov is known as “the mythmaker” of contemporary art in Kazakhstan. Maslov was born into the nomenklatura, the privileged and politically trustworthy Soviet elite. His parents were prominent journalists, and this meant he had more access to information about the outside world than the average citizen. After earning a PhD in pedagogy, Maslov started lecturing at the arts faculty of the Teachers' Training institute in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, and came into art in the mid-1980s through contacts with the unofficial art scene in Moscow.
In the late 1980s, the period of perestroika ('reconstruction'), he founded the group Nochnoi tramvai (Night Tram') in Almaty together with the artist Alexander Popov. He considered children's art a powerful antidote to the cultural and mental corruption of society in the late Soviet period, but a planned Children's Art Museum could not be realised in the economic and political situation following Kazakhstan's independence in 1991.
Maslov was dismissed from his teaching position at the Art Academy in Almaty after painting with his own blood in the performance Vostok disleretnyi ("The Orient Is Discreet). During the last years of his life, he supported himself as a night guard at the Voyager gallery in Almaty.
In 1998, at the first annual exhibition of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in Almaty (funded by the Hungarian-American financier George Soros), Maslov staged one of his most legendary myths. He exhibited a photograph of himself in a coffin, apparently after dying from an unhappy love affair with Whitney Houston. There were also six framed letters from their (fictitious) correspondence.
At the time of his untimely death in 2002 Maslov had just received a grant from the Soros Center to write a novel about contemporary Kazakh artists in space. He had also developed a computer slideshow about extraterrestrials and Kazakhs, to be shown inside a yurt (the traditional circular tent of the Central Asian nomads). That project, Baikonur 2 (2001) is now in the M HKA collection, acquired in connection with the exhibition series Europe at Large.
Maslov left behind numerous drawings, paintings, films, manuscripts, and other projects. M HKA received twelve paintings from Maslov's Dream series (1982-2000) as a donation, and also owns one of his sketchbooks and the work Survival Instruction for Citizens of the Former USSR (1998) in the reconstructed form in which it was presented by Viktor Vorobyev and Elena Vorobyeva in the first Central Asian Pavilion (curated by Viktor Misiano) at the Venice Biennial in 2005.
Items View all
Sergey Maslov, Baikonur 2, 2001. Installation, installation, computer collage, sound, text.
Survival Instructions for...
Sergey Maslov, Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Survival Instructions for Citizens of the Former USSR, 1998. Installation.
Declaration of Love (the ...
Sergey Maslov, Declaration of Love (the Dream series), 1982-2000. Painting, oil, canvas, 11 x (100 x 80 cm), 1 x (102 x 122 cm).
Events View all
The Melancholy of Resista...
06 November 2010 - 03 January 2011.
The title of the exhibition was adopted from the title of László Krasznahorkai’s novel, The Melancholy of Resistance, which tells the story o
The collection XXVII – Ea...
03 March 2011 - 21 August 2011.
Since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell and the year of the *Magiciens de la terre* exhibition at Beaubourg, the hegemony of Western art ha
The collection XXXIII – T...
07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013.
The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; th
Museum E!: Dreams
11 April 2018 - 11 October 2018.
M HKA and the Immaculata nursing home have developed an enduring partnership on the topic of contemporary art. This project aims to stimulate
Ensembles View all
The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public
As a museum with a special focus on Eurasia, M HKA engages with the plurality of culture across the total landmass we know as ‘Europe’ and ‘A