Sushil Sarkar, a Kolkata based renowned Indian painter was also an art educator par excellence. He was the Principal of the Sarda Ukil School of Art. He also worked in the Publicity Division of the government of India and was a Founder member of All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society. Sarkar was closely associated with Ram Babu, founder of India’s oldest art gallery, Dhoomimal Gallery that is, in late thirties and early forties.
Sushil Sarkar belongs to the category of early modernists, who were prone to taking the elements of traditional Indian art and give them a modern idiom, that is, add create a unique, modernist idiom for Indian art while keeping its roots intact. And they not only succeeded but also ruled the art scene for a while.
Sushil Sarkar’s works are the manifestation and embodiment of a poetic consciousness. Lyrical and endearing, his works of Sushil Sarkar tent to give you a poetic vibration. Their cultural context is deep enough to engage you for a while.
Sarkar played a pioneering role in redefining art education and setting the trend for future art educaton in India while he was the Principal of the Sarda Ukil School of Art. He became the Principal in 1959. Even though the chool suffered from lack of funds in his tenure, that didn’t deter Sarkar from his efforts. He worked hard to proote art and art history. He also organised demobstration classes by well known artists with the aim of providing the students with necessary exposure to new techniques and methods of painting. He promoted new artistic practices while encouraging young students to take heed of art history. He also organised a lecture series by eminent art critics, and every Saturday, he showed the students documentaries on Indian art history and films on the art traditions of different countries around the world.
Sarkar’s vision for the development and expansion of the school is evident in the letters he wrote to M.S. Randhawa, the then vice president of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, editor of All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi, and a staunch supporter of art and culture in the northern part of the country. In a letter addressed to M.S. Randhawa, dated April 29, 1960, Sarkar invited him to give a lecture on Basohli or Kangra paintings at the school. He also requested Randhawa to write an article about the school, which he intended to publish in an art journal named Roopa-Lekha. Sarkar had already published about the school in other journals such as The Illustrated Weekly of India and Advance in a bid to increase awareness about the school both among art lovers as well as the common populace.Back to Artists View Artworks of Sushil Sarkar