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Details & Cataloguing

The Indian Sale

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Tyeb Mehta
b. 1925

TRUSSED BULL
B.1925
TRUSSED BULL
Signed and dated 'Tyeb 67' upper left and with inscription 'ARTIST=TYEB MEHTA/TITLE =TRUSSED BULL' on reverse
Oil on canvas
94 by 125.5 cm. (37 by 49 3/8 in.)
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Catalogue Note

In 1959 Tyeb Mehta left India for England where he was greatly influenced by European Expressionism.  His early works were  executed in heavily textured colours, applied thickly with a palette knife. 

Figures are constants in his work: the falling human figure, the falling bird, the trussed bull, the buffalo-demon of Hindu myth and the goddess Kali, all of them are linked by the distortion of the form through violent activity.  Mehta comments on his recurrent depiction of the trussed bull in his work "I was looking for an image which would not narrate, but suggest something which was deep within me, the violence that I witnessed during partition," Mr. Mehta said. "Have you seen a bull running? This tremendous energy being butchered for nothing." (from an interview with the artist, Somini Sengupta, New York Times, January 24th 2006)

Mehta, like many artists of his generation, had been witness to the tragic events that took place in India during and after Partition and his memories of this period clearly had an immense impact on him and the vocabulary of his art. He states: ‘There were elements of violence in my childhood…One incident left a deep impression on me.  At the time of Partition I was living on Mohemmadali Road which was virtually a Muslim Ghetto.  I remember a young man being slaughtered in the street below my window.  The crowd beat him to death, smashed his head with stones.  I was sick with fever for days afterwards and the image still haunts me today.  That violence has stuck in my mind’

The Indian Sale

|
London