A beautifully produced introduction to four contemporary American artists: Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, and Faith Ringgold. Each portrait includes brief biographical information; notes on the artist's early training; direct quotes from the artists themselves on important influences on their work; and descriptions of the seven or eight works reproduced, as well as few others not shown. Brevity, however, leads to some problematical impressions and omissions: e.g., Neel, whose complex, tragedy-haunted life defies summary, suddenly has two unexplained sons, and--in the 1930's--""joined a political group, the Communist Party. . .She liked to paint the members and their demonstrations. Nazis Murder Jews [not shown, of a parade staged as a protest] is one such painting."" The influence of ethnicity on art is demonstrated by the work of Kahlo, a Mexican who was married--twice--to Diego Rivera. Ringgold--a black artist who grew up in Harlem--discusses African influences on her subjects and her use of fabrics in masks and quilts. An outstanding celebration of art and artists, Picture credits; bibliography of adult works, including exhibition catalogs.