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Home >> Artists >> Tyeb Mehta

Tyeb Mehta

Tyeb Mehta works are vastly celebrated across the world and they fetch millions of dollars in various auction houses. This Contemporary Indian Artist is well known for his preoccupation with the formalist means of expression.

Tyeb Mehta was born in 1925 in Kapadvanj, a town in the Indian state of Gujarat. Mehta's first step towards creative expression was his brush with film editing in Bombay. He then joined the JJ School of Art to study Art Direction. Although he decided to crossover to painting after graduation, his fascination with the cinematic medium continued. In 1970 he made an experimental film called Koodal. This film fetched him much critical acclaim. In fact Satyajit Ray , the great Indian Master, included it in his essay “ Our films,their films ”.

He is considered to be a painter with a consience, who sincerely believes in his Craft. E. Alakazi says-“In Tyeb Mehta's works we find an absolute sincerity, an unquestionable honesty of means and intentions. And the first thing we demand of a painter is that he be sincere. Secondly, Tyeb reveals an ever-increasing mastery of his craft in the handling of charcoal, paint and clay. And finally, he has great integrity. He has constantly refused to compromise with current bazar taste as well as with the taste of "progressive" art circles. Above all, he has refused to compromise with himself. Yet all these refusals add up to one strong note of affirmation.”

Apart from being considered a sincere artist, Tyeb is also known for his immaculate work ethics. When he was younger he would produce one canvas in two months.

Tyeb Mehta's Paintings

Tyeb Mehta Paintings never did conform to conventions. Be it Kali or Mahishasurmardini, they address those aspects of consciousness for which there is no equivalent.


Kali is probably the most expensive Indian Painting ever. In May 2005, Kali sold for 10 million INR. This dramatic and disturbing work is an acrylic on canvas depicting a twisted blue body, yellow teeth, protruding red tongue, a tortured expression. Tyeb's depiction of the Hindu Goddess of Time has raised many a fundamentalist eyebrow , but has nonetheless earned a lot of appreciation.

His other famous works are- Mahishasurmardini, Celebration, Green Kali, Bull and The Rickshaw Puller.
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