Born in Kapadvanj, a town in Gujarat in 1925. Initially a film editor, his interest in painting led him to the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai from where he graduated in 1952. Between 1959 and 1964 he lived and worked in London. He also visited the US on a Rockefeller Fund Scholarship in 1968. While he was also known to have adopted the pictorial language of European art through the 1950s and 60s, Mehta turned to ‘Indian’ themes and subjects through the 70s and 80s. Through the 90s his imagination was captured by the myth of the Devi (Goddess) – as Durga, Kali, Mahishasura Mardini, the slayer of the demon Mahishasura (the different incarnations of the goddess). He used ancient images in a modern sense, blending the demon Mahishasura into the butcher’s buffalo. Critics often laud his technical excellence that makes such complex meanings also clear.

Apart from several solo exhibitions Mehta had participated in international shows like Ten Contemporary Indian Painters at Trenton in the U.S. in 1965; Deuxieme Biennial Internationale de Menton, 1974; and Seven Indian Painters at Gallerie Le Monde de U art, Paris 1994.

He was awarded the Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government in 1988.

Tyeb Mehta, 40X30 inches, Oil on Board, 1960