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ART 301: Researching Contemporary Art: Books & Exhibition Catalogs

Spring 2018

Books and exhibition catalogues

Sometimes when a contemporary artist exhibits their work at a gallery or museum, the exhibit curator and/or other people associated with the exhibition publish a catalogue for the show, usually in the form of a printed book. Exhibition catalogues include lists of all the artworks in the show, usually include high-quality images or photographs of the work, and often include essays about the artist or the work in the show. Sometimes they include other information such as timelines of the artists' work or bibliographies of other writings about them.

Exhibition catalogues are the most frequent types of books about contemporary artists found in the library.

Contemporary artists' work is also written about in books that are not necessarily about only one artist, but are instead books that discuss a style of art, or an art movement, or a group of artists. There may be chapters or essays in library books that discuss a contemporary artist you are interested in, even if the whole book is not about that one artist.

Browse these subject headings in InfoKat Discovery and other library catalogs

How to find books and exhibition catalogues about an artist, step 1 (basic):

Select the "Library Catalog" or "LIBRARY CATALOG" tab of the UK Libraries search box. (It's called "Library Catalog" in InfoKat Discovery, which is our search tool itself, and it's called "LIBRARY CATALOG" on the search bar link on the Libraries' website homepage.)

Once you have selected that tab, type your artist's name between quotation marks " ".

InfoKat search bar

uky libraries website search bar

You will see a list of books UK Libraries owns about the artist, along with their call numbers, which tell you where to find them in the library. Many of them will likely be the Fine Arts Library! Come on over to check them out.

How to find books and exhibition catalogues about an artist, step 2 (more advanced):

Click open the record for a book that looks helpful, or you know to be helpful, for your topic.

Then select the "Details" tab in the record. Here you can see further info about the subjects the book covers, and you can click the blue links to explore further books on similar topics.

infokat book record

Find artists in group exhibition catalogs