Tyeb Mehta (1925 – 2009) is recognised as one of the Masters of the Contemporary Art Movement. He evolved a style and imagery which can easily be termed ‘Indian Expressionism’. Many art critics had commented on his affinity to Cubism and Francis Bacon, and perhaps some stylistic elements of Barnett Newman, especially in his division of large spatial areas in terms of bright flat colours. But Tyeb Mehta had left all these influences behind him and had created his very own idiom rooted in the linear and two-dimensional spatial tradition of Indian art.
Tyeb’s complete control over the medium and his ability to create tension with the use of sharp staccato lines and clearly demarcated areas of bright flat-colour, resulting in works of great power and poignancy. With distorted figures, dislocated limbs, and faces that were demented and out of focus, Tyeb Mehta expressed the deep sense of loneliness, alienation and even violence experienced by contemporary man. The recurring image in Tyeb’s paintings is that of the ‘Fallen Figure’, a symbol of our time.