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Contemporary Art

Use this library guide for researching contemporary art and artists.

Find Biographical Entries In Our Electronic Reference Shelf

CREDO Reference Database has encyclopedias and biographies that will give you basic information about people--when were they born, where are they from, where did they go to school, who did they study with, etc. You can think of CREDO as an academic alternative to Wikipedia. 

Find Books About Your Artist

You may be able to find books in the library about contemporary artists depending on how long they have been creating art and how famous they are. Types of books that you might find are biographies or exhibition publications. It is best to search for an artist's name in quotation marks, example: "Lucas Samaras"


  • Make sure to sign in to OneSearch with your CSP user name and password to be able to save searches and request items.
  • If you find a physical book at a different library, click the book's title and then hit the "Request from a CLIC library" link--this will only be available if you are signed in. Submit the prepopulated form. Most books arrive within 1-2 business days.
  • If you are working last minute, you can select Concordia University, Saint Paul from the "CLIC Schools" limiter in the left sidebar.

Search Contemporary Art Journals

Art journals may have articles about artists, their work, or gallery reviews. Look for interviews with artists or articles about them or their work. Many of our art journals are available full text online; some are available in print in the library. 

Find Scholarly Articles in Databases

Web Resources

Use the web to search for artists in museums, galleries, auction sites, or the artist's personal website. Below are some suggestions, but simply search for your artist and see what comes up!