By Phoebe Farris
Critical essays on 20th-century female artists of color focus on how these distinguised artists achieved success, what makes their work important--both to the art world and to their specific communities--and what influences their work is likely to have in the future. The artists are representative of four ethnic groups: African American, Asian Pacific American, Latin American, and Native American. Parallels drawn explore the similarities and differences among the artists. The early feminist art movement of the 1970s concentrated on gender with less consideration given to race or class, yet to many artists of color, ethnicity factors significantly into the shaping of their identities and to the content of their art. Women artists of color have expanded the scope of protest art, fusing the past and current history with gender and race and deconstructing stereotypical mainstream representations of their gender and ethnic identities. This presentation of artists balances older and deceased artists with the younger, emerging artists. The artistic mediums span the gamut from traditional painting and sculpture to newer forms such as video, conceptual, and performance art.