Tyeb Mehta

India (19252009 ) - Artworks Wikipedia® - Tyeb Mehta
MEHTA Tyeb Head

Christie's /Jun 11, 2013
17,503.94 - 23,338.59
21,958.13

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Artworks in Arcadja
98

Some works of Tyeb Mehta

Extracted between 98 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Tyeb Mehta - Blue Painting

Tyeb Mehta - Blue Painting

Original 1982
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Gross Price
Lot number: 25
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Tyeb Mehta 1925-2009 BLUE PAINTING Signed and dated 'Tyeb / 82' on reverse Oil on canvas 115 by 90 cm. (45 ¼ by 35 ½ in.) Painted in 1982 Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Provenance Collection of Mr. Bal Chhabra Acquired from the above circa 1992-1993 "The painting hung in the living room of Bal Chhabra's house alongside a breathtaking work by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde. Through the doors of the living room one could see Maa, one of the signature works by Sayed Haider Raza. However it was this blue painting by Tyeb Mehta that transfixed me where I stood and subsequently became the first work I ever purchased of this artist." - Masanori Fukuoka, Founder and Director of the Glenbarra Art Museum Exhibited New Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai, Image Beyond Image, 1997 Literature Contemporary Indian Art, Glenbarra Art Museum Collection, Glenbarra Japan Co. Ltd., 1993, p. 51 illus. R. Hoskote, Tyeb Mehta: Ideas, Images, Exchanges, New Delhi, 2005, p.135 illus. ‘Tyeb's art is not simply figurative, but rather, is figural: it does not content itself merely with representing the human form, but navigates between abstraction and conceptual play on the one hand, and the illusionism of representation on the other.' (R. Hoskote, Tyeb Mehta: Ideas, Images, Exchanges, New Delhi, 2005, p. 20). 'More than for other leading Modernists in India, however, Mehta's subjects and point of view were obsessively singular throughout his life; they left an enduring imprint on twentieth-century Indian art and cultural history.' (B. Citron cited in S. Bean ed., Midnight to the Boom, Painting in India after Independence, Thames and Hudson, London, 2013, p. 97) Tyeb Mehta and his contemporaries began their careers at a time of great political change in India. Independence brought with it the development of a nation-state that strove for a new identity that was free from colonial influences and focused on the growth of an indigenous Modernist movement. During this period, Mehta and his peers had very limited exposure to international art, relying on the few reproductions they found in art books. As a result of this scarcity of available knowledge and information, a number of young Indian artists left for Europe and North America to further their careers. From 1959, Mehta based himself and his family in London for five years where he was first exposed to Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Mehta was awarded a Rockefeller scholarship that took him to New York, where he came into contact with the work of the American abstract painter Barnett Newman at the Museum of Modern Art. He greatly admired the way that Newman and in particular his Onement series broke up the picture plane by using blocks of pure saturated colour. However unlike Newman, Mehta did not wish to abandon the figure from his work. "The human figure has become part of my vocabulary, like a certain way of applying colour or breaking up images. It is a sort of vehicle for me. I am not a minimalist or abstract painter... my work is still expressionist. The human figure is my source, what I primarily react to. But in transferring that image to canvas, I begin to think in terms of modulating the canvas, distributing areas of colour and apportioning space. I put a certain distance between myself as the seer and the canvas as the seen to allow the painting to exist as an entity in its own right." (Interview by N.T. Seth, Tyeb Mehta: Ideas, Images, Exchanges, New Delhi, 2005, p. 343). While Newman’’s zips divided the canvas into two halves, Mehta’’s angular lines dissected the canvas into jagged segments that appear to both amalgamate and diverge at the same time. This particular convention was unique to Mehta. Mehta looked to combine the intensity of pure colour with figurative composition. This was a departure from the perspective and tonal variation seen in his earlier expressionist works. The heavy impasto was abandoned in favour of large expanses of solid colour and clean lines. "I became interested in using pure color. Normally brush marks suggest areas of directions. I wanted to avoid all this to bring elements down to such a minimal level that the image alone would be sufficient to speak for itself." (Interview by N.T. Seth, p. 342). This new phase of painting brought with it the development of a diagonal form that Mehta used to structure and divide his canvases. The artist came up with this compositional device to maintain order within the frame by using different overlapping planes of colour accompanied by the figure, and executed with a sparseness of line that becomes a hallmark of his later works. An excellent example of this evolution in Mehta’’s paintings can be found when comparing the present work – Blue Painting, 1982 with his Blue Figure - Standing, 1961. Both paintings are executed with varying shades of blue and contain a central human figure that is the main subject and focal point of each work. However, that appears to be where the similarities end. Blue Figure - Standing contains areas of impasto and the paint application is dynamic and gestural. It is apparent that Mehta’’s predominant concerns match those of the early expressionists, who focused more on the application of paint than the figure itself. Blue Painting, 1982, on the other hand, serves up bright planes of pure and unadulterated blues symphonised by the careful usage of lines. Here, the colour distorts for emotional effect and seeks to express meaning and emotional experience rather than physical reality. The figure is better defined and purposefully set apart from the background so that there is a renewed focus on the subject. He has reconfigured the woman into individually coloured geometric planes, mirroring the technique he employed while painting his trussed bulls in the 1950s. Blue Painting was produced during a renaissance in Mehta’’s career where he appears to have come full circle in his artistic progression, taking the very best from his early work. By the 80s, Mehta’’s work had reached a critical balance between figuration and abstraction, with the studied use of lines to absolve the painting of any overt formalism. Blue Painting was created in 1982, two years before Mehta began his residency at Santiniketan and well after he had established the importance of colour and composition in his works. It is rare by virtue of that fact that is one of few monochromatic paintings that Mehta ever produced. The emotions elicited by his considered use of colour is exceptional in the case of this work. One may surmise that during his time abroad where Mehta studied the various avant-garde movements occurring in the West, he was also inspired by Henri Matisse and the short-lived Fauvist movement. The Fauves expressed emotion with wild and often dissonant colours that did not match reality. Bright, expressive hues were coupled with flat figures and measured lines as in the case of this work. The deep blue colour present in this painting is also reminiscent of International Klein Blue (IKB), the colour created and patented by Yves Klein in his search to better express the emotions and concepts that he wished to convey. Although Klein used the colour blue throughout his career and painted monochromatic works as early as 1949, it was not until 1958 that the blue colour itself became the main component of his art. Mehta moved to London in 1959, a year after Klein made this progression and it is entirely conceivable that he was affected by this legendary artist and his practice with the colour blue. A decade before, Mehta’’s predominantly androgynous figures had given way to a partiality for the female form. With rounded breasts and softer facial features, woman began to dominate his canvases, as is the case with Blue Painting. Yet regardless of gender, throughout his career Mehta's approach to the human figure has centred on the themes of suffering and marginalisation. He witnessed the atrocities that took place during Partition and these scenes became etched in his memory. 'There are chiefly two kinds of figures in Tyeb's iconography: one kind is born of terror, and encompasses his victim types; the other kind is born of kindred hope and awe, and these are his ambiguous divine / demoniac figures.' (R. Hoskote, Tyeb Mehta: Ideas, Images, Exchanges, New Delhi, 2005, p. 16). There is a quiet and calming beauty in Blue Painting, despite Mehta’’s signature distortion of the figure. The potency in this vibrant minimalist composition lies within the harmony between its form, tone and line. The combination of all these elements makes Blue Painting, 1982, a classic and timeless masterpiece. Fig. 1 Tyeb Mehta, Blue Figure - Standing , 1961. Image courtesy of Vadehra Art Gallery Fig. 2 Barnett Newman, Onement VI , 1953. Sotheby's New York, 14 May 2013, lot 17. Sold for: US$ 43,845,000 © 2014 The Barnett Newman Foundation, New York / DACS, London Fig. 3 Tyeb Mehta, Trussed Bull , 1956. Image courtesy of Vadehra Art Gallery Fig. 4 Yves Klein, Untitled Blue Monochrome (IKB 271) , 1960. Sotheby's London, 30 June 2014, lot 18. Sold for: £2,770,500 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2014
Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Original
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Lot number: 256
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TYEB MEHTA (1925-2009) Untitled (Woman and Bird) signed 'Tyeb' (lower right); further signed 'Tyeb' (upper right) and bearing 'Chemould' label (on the reverse) oil on board 40 1/8 x 30¾ in. (102 x 78 cm.) Painted circa 1960s Gallery Chemould, Mumbai Saffronart, 16 May 2003, lot 59 R. Hoskote et. al., Tyeb Mehta: Ideas Images Exchanges, New Delhi, 2005, p. 69 (illustrated)
Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Original 1998
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Lot number: 102
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Lot Description TYEB MEHTA (1925-2009) Untitled signed and dated 'Tyeb 98' (upper right) oil pastel on paper 25½ x 19 5/8 in. (64.8 x 49.8 cm.) Executed in 1998 Provenance Sotheby's New York, 18 March 2009, lot 120 Related Features Gallery Talk: Highlights from the South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art Sale [ Video ] Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Mahishasura) [ Video ] Gallery Talk: Works by Syed Haider Raza [ Video ]
Tyeb Mehta - Head

Tyeb Mehta - Head

Original
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Gross Price
Lot number: 70
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TYEB MEHTA (1925-2009) Head titled and inscribed 'Head Graphite 34 x 28' (on the reverse) graphite on sandpaper 13½ x 11¼ in. (34 x 28.5 cm.) Tyeb Mehta: Triumph of Vision, exhibition catalogue, New Delhi, 2011, p. 16 (illustrated) New Delhi, Vadehra Art Gallery, Tyeb Mehta: Triumph of Vision, January - February 2011
Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Tyeb Mehta - Untitled

Original
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Net Price
Lot number: 420
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Tyeb Mehta (India, 1925-2009) Untitled , oil on canvas, signed and dated Tyeb 78 on reverse, framed, 150.4 x 120.1cm (59 3/16 x 47 5/16in). This work is part of the Diagonal series. This work has been authenticated by Tyeb Mehta Foundation . Provenance : Private Collection; acquired directly from the artist in 1980 from his studio in Bombay. Across a six-decade-long career, Tyeb Mehta distilled a vocabulary of compelling archetypal images from the flux of experience. Among these were the trussed bull struggling with his fate, the falling figure suspended in a luminous void, the goddess and the buffalo-demon locked in mortal combat, the rickshaw-puller fused with his vehicle, and the figure wielding yet torn apart by a diagonal that could be read as a thunderbolt or a device of planar scission. This untitled work from 1978 is an early and powerful example of what would soon be recognised as Mehta's mature style. From the 1970s onward, he would render his figures as a series of staccato sections in flat planes of colour, often at odds with one another, as though they were multiple selves liberating themselves from a single body. I have written, elsewhere, that each of Mehta's paintings acts as a "silent movie, in which we see mouths screaming, faces, distended in terror, flailing limbs, thrashing wings". His paintings point to the splintering apart and potential re-integration of the individual mind, society, and the world at large; as viewers, we must read the clues and divine the psychic and political meanings of the work. A major contributor to the tradition of Indian modernism, Mehta was closely associated with the pioneering Progressive Artists Group. Although he was born in Bombay and spent most of his life there, an especially productive phase of his career was staged in New Delhi, where he lived from 1965 to 1979. He played an active role in the Indian capital's lively art scene during those years, together with friends and colleagues like Ebrahim Alkazi, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar and A Ramachandran, as well as the redoubtable and nomadic M F Husain. It is to this Delhi phase of activity that the present painting belongs. In this work, we see to advantage the celebrated diagonal that first made its appearance in Mehta's art in 1969. As the artist himself told the tale, he found the device intuitively rather than arriving at it through reflection: one day, frustrated with a painting that had refused to resolve itself, he picked up a brush loaded with black paint and slashed it across the canvas. The anecdote conveys the intensity of Mehta's conceptual struggle at the time. He wished to escape the stable, well-centred figures he had been painting, without abandoning the figure as the key pictorial bearer of human destiny. At the same time, he wanted his frames to resonate with the fragmentation that coloured contemporary experience, to carry the anguish of shattered certitudes in a decade when the world seemed to be drifting towards nuclear confrontation, India had departed from the ideals of its liberation struggle, and South Asia was ripped apart by the antagonism between India and Pakistan. Mehta's diagonal may be contextualised within a specific history. The most essential function of the diagonal is to effect a partition of space that was homogenous until the making of this gesture, into two related but separate parts. The echo of the 1947 Partition of British India reverberates in this slashing, arbitrary gesture. The Partition placed Mehta's generation of South Asian Muslims under the fragmenting pressure of having to choose between an ancestral homeland and a new collective ideal, a traditionally hybrid cultural identity and a new identity premised exclusively on religion. The diagonal simultaneously emphasises separation and twinning: it expresses the psychology of schism that haunted Mehta, proposing a doubling of consciousness and an awareness of difference-within-belonging at several levels, indicating the minority bracketed within the majority, and the artist within a larger public. Ranjit Hoskote Independent Curator and Author of Images of Transcendence: Towards a New Reading of Tyeb Mehta's Art in Ideas Images Exchanges by Tyeb Mehta, Ranjit Hoskote and Roshan Shahani
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