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Tomie Ohtake (大竹富江, née Nakakubo (中久保?); Nov. 21, 1913-Feb. 12, 2015); Japanese naturalized Brazilian artist. Her work includes paintings, prints and sculptures. She was one of the main representatives of informal abstractionism in Brazil.
In 1936, when she was 23 years old, Ohtake traveled to Brazil to visit a brother but could not return due to World War II. Ohtake settled herself in São Paulo with her husband and started painting in 1951, after a visit to the studio of the painter Keisuke Sugano.
She had her first exhibition in 1957, in the Salão Nacional de Arte Moderna and in 1961 she participated in the São Paulo Biennale. In 1972 she participated in the Prints section of the Venice Biennale and in 1978 of the Tokyo Biennale. She created dozens of public space sculptures from the late eighties; her work has been featured in several cities in Brazil, but especially in the state of São Paulo.
In 1988 Ohtake was awarded the Order of Rio Branco by the public sculpture commemorating the 80th anniversary of Japanese immigration in São Paulo, and in 2006 she was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.
Tomie Ohtake was the mother of architects Ruy Ohtake and Ricardo Ohtake.
She died on February 12, 2015 at the age of 101.
Tomie Ohtake, who has died at the age of 101, was a celebrated Japanese-Brazilian artist known for her bold, primary colored abstract paintings and gravity-defying monumental sculptures. Renowned for her oversized paintings and airy, cleverly balanced sculptures, Ohtake was considered among Brazil’s most important contemporary artists.
Rio de Janeiro state’s culture secretary said “we have lost one of the most meaningful names in abstractionism in the country and in the world. Tomie was an artist who beautifully brought together cultures, colors and geometry, mixing the red of Japan with the yellow of her adopted country,” said the statement. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/tomie- ...)