The catalogue raisonné is an important tool for provenance research and for establishing the oeuvre of an artist; it normally contains provenance for each version of a work of art. Each work is pictured, with scholarly opinions, provenance, literature about the work, and sales information (when known). Search this Catalogues Raisonnés resource from the International Federation for Art Research to locate published and forthcoming titles.
These titles document museum and gallery shows; are often the best source for high-quality images; and usually include artist biographies, curatorial essays, artist interviews and/or writings, and career chronologies. Look for "Exhibitions" as part of the subject heading.
To find contemporary artists featured in group exhibitions, search the Contemporary Artists Index, from the Cleveland Institute of Art.
These are books by or about artists published independent of any exhibition. Usually, these are in-depth writings that analyze or provide context for an artist and his/her work. Look for words like "Criticism and Interpretation" in the subject heading of a book. Search using "criticism" or "analysis" as keywords.
Searching Google Books can often retrieve promising results from within the pages of both historical and modern publications.
In IUCAT, in addition to links to Google Books, you will also see links to HathiTrust, a digital library with freely-available full text of more than 3 million out-of-copyright works. The in-copyright material is also searchable. You can also use these sources as a way to find references to a particular topic.
The Internet Archive's Digital Books Collections offers pdf downloads of public domain books.
Europeana is a digital library encompassing Europe's cultural treasures across more than 2,200 institutions, including art, music, film, literature, and many other resources. The Digital Public Library of America offers a similar gateway to institutions in the U.S. with a focus on cultural heritage collections.