The Tomie Ohtake Institute says the celebrated Japanese-Brazilian artist has died at age 101.

It says Ohtake died Thursday at a Sao Paulo hospital from septic shock brought on by pneumonia.

Ohtake was known for abstract paintings in primary colors and airy, gravity-defying sculptures. She was considered to be among Brazil's most important contemporary artists.

Born in Kyoto, Ohtake came to Brazil in 1936 to visit a relative. After World War II broke out, she stayed in the country, married, had children and only in her late 30s began to paint.

After an early career focusing on figurative subjects, Ohtake found her fame with abstract paintings in eye-popping colors. Her large-scale sculptures of curves and curlicues also became fixtures of the cityscape in Sao Paulo, where she lived.