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Tyeb Mehta

Tyeb Mehta


Tyeb Mehta was born in 1925 in Kapadwanj, Gujarat.

In 1944 he joined ‘Famous Cine Laboratory’ at Tardeo and worked as an assistant to the film editor for three years. In 1947, while travelling by tram he met Mr. A. A Majid (a famous director of that era) and ex-student of Sir J.J. School of Art. He helped Tyeb to get admission in Sir J.J. School of Art. At the school he met S.B. Palshiker. He met S.H. Raza who introduced him to the artists of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG). In 1950, he visited Delhi with Akbar and others to see the ‘Indian Art’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan. In 1952 he passed out from Sir J. J. School of Art. In 1954 he went to Paris and London to study works of old and modern masters after four months he returned to India. In 1956 he had painted ‘Rickshaw Pullers’ and ‘Trussed Bull’. In 1957 he joined faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda to study sculpture. He executed a few terracotta sculptures. In 4 months he returned to Bombay and continued painting and creating works in wood and plaster of Paris. In 1960 he went to London. In 1964 after his stay of five years in London, Tyeb returned to India with his family. In 1965 he settled in Delhi. There he met artists, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Ramchandran, etc. In 1968 he travelled to Italy, Spain, Amsterdam and London. He travelled extensively in U.S.A., Japan, Hong Kong. In 1969 he returned to India. In 1969 he started using diagonal as a pictorial element till 1976. In 1974 he travelled to Paris (sponsored by I.C.C.R) and he showcased six large paintings at Cagnes-Sur-Mer and Menton Biennale and was awarded ‘Merit Certificate’. He returned to Delhi. In 1978 - 1979 he shifted to Bombay. In 1983 he was invited to Vishwa Bharati University at Santiniketan as an Artist in Residence for two years, where he had interacted with K. G. Subramanyan, Somnath Hore, Sarbari Rai Choudhary. In 1984 while he recuperated, he painted ‘Santiniketan Triptych’ and did a large Bull Torso in bronze.

Tyeb had several solo exhibitions in India and overseas:
1958 - 1959 he had one man show at Jehangir Art Gallery organised by Bal Chhabda (Gallery 59). In 1961 he had a one man show at Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford. In 1966 and 1967 he showcased solo at Kumar Gallery, Delhi. In 1966 he had a solo at Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1968 he exhibited solo at Common Institute Art Gallery, London. In 1969 and 1971 he had one person show at Kunika - Chemould Gallery, New Delhi. In 1971, 1976, 1984, 1986 and in 1990 he had one-person show at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai. In 1984 he exhibited his works at Nandan, Santiniketan. In 1985 he showcased a solo exhibition at Chemould Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1986 - 1987 he returned to Mumbai and created Kali paintings. He executed Trussed Bull on Rickshaw (Triptych). In 1990 he had a one-man show at Chemould Art Gallery, Mumbai, Art Heritage, New Delhi and Birla Academy, Calcutta. In 1996 he exhibite