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One of the greatest Modern Indian Artist, Tyeb Mehta’s works highlight contemporary struggle in society with a dialogue on social conditions and violence around the world. With a style that is a mixture of expressionism and minimalism, Mehta’s canvases portray the human form as irregular which are separated, almost distorted by uneven shapes of various solid colors with sharp lines. The forms on the canvases seem adrift and suspended in space with liberty. These bold colored canvases leave a lasting impression on the mind and highlight the emphatic yet sensitive side of Mehta and his oeuvre. His travels across Europe and America gave him an opportunity to look at Western Art and get inspired, which in turn brought an abstract style into his works, while retaining the figure and the emotion of suffering.
Tyeb Mehta was born in 1925 in Kapadwanj, Gujarat. He graduated in Fine Arts from J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. Mehta joined the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1950s and left for London in 1959, where he worked and lived till 1964. Soon after he returned to India and in 1968 he won a Gold Medal in painting at the first Triennial held in New Delhi. Around this time, he also experimented in film writing and directing Koodal, for the Films Division of India that won him the Filmfare Critics’ Award in 1970. He was awarded Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government in 1988 and the Dayawati Modi Foundation Award for Art, Culture, and Education in 2005. Mehta was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2007
Apart from several solo exhibitions, Tyeb participated in many international shows. Some of his recent posthumous exhibitions are: Pioneers of Modernism, Sovereign FZE, Dubai in 2013, Ideas of the Sublime, presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 2013 and Modernist Art from India: Approaching Abstraction, Rubin Museum of Art, New York in 2012.
Tyeb Mehta passed away in 2009, in Mumbai.