Guwahati: Eminent Assamese artist-sculptor Sobha Brahma died here on Monday at a private nursing home following prolonged illness, family sources said.

He was 82 and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Brahma was suffering from old-age ailments and was fitted with a pacemaker last week. He died after suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday afternoon.

A prolific artist and sculptor of the NE, Brahma has painted and sculpted forms and figures for more than six decades establishing an independent art idiom for the region and creating a niche both in the country and abroad.

Brahma is credited with being the first artist from the north east who attempted to create an art specific to the region with a distinct idiom. He studied in detail the lives, art, cultural background, forms and colour of Bodo, Rabha, Dimasas and other tribes and created art with a contemporary touch.

He also served as the principal of Government Art College here for several years, vice-chairman of prominent cultural centre Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra set up under Assam Accord and was also a member of the general council of Lalit Kala Akademi.

He had graduated from Cotton College in 1948 and then enrolled in Viswa Bharati in Santiniketan where he was trained by great masters Ramkinkar Baij and Nandalal Bose for years.

On his return from Santiniketan, Brahma faced a ‘creative conflict’ in his mind on whether to continue with Indian mainstream tradition or produce art specific to the region free from influences and trappings of any particular school or style.

He had also written several books on art.