Subtitle/Alternate Title

Intersectionality, Spectacle, and Colonization

First Advisor

Robin Hextrum


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

34 pages


This essay examines how Primitivist artwork of the late 1800s and early 1900s by Matisse, Gauguin, and Picasso oversexualized colonized women. White European male artists viewed colonized women as the ‘other’ through a biased racialized and gendered lens. Fatimah Tobing Roby’s theory of Ethnographic Spectacle and Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality are evident in these Primitivist works. Through a deeply rooted colonial mindset, European male artists exploited the image of colonized women because they are considered outside of history and unevolved. Colonized women experienced this unfair treatment due to their unique intersectional position of gender and race, as well as the European fascination with the ‘other.’ Primitivist artworks depict colonized women as a projection of sexual fantasies because their position deemed outside of history places them outside of moral consequence by European male artists.

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado