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Themes in art

Finding works on themes

Not sure where to start?

Try some of the example searches below - limit the search to books and book chapters. These searches are broad enough to allow you to explore a wide range of themes.

Search tip: Look at the subject headings to find similar resources on a particular theme.

Screenshot of item record highlighting related subject headings.


Art in the Twenty-First Century (art21) series

A biennial television series focusing on contemporary visual art and artists from around the world.

Artist profiles are loosely grouped by theme: 

  • place
  • spirituality
  • identity
  • consumption
  • stories
  • loss & desire
  • time
  • humour
  • power
  • memory
  • structures
  • play
  • romance
  • protest
  • ecology
  • paradox
  • compassion
  • fantasy
  • transformation
  • systems
  • change
  • balance
  • history
  • boundaries

Additional resources

Explore themes through the following sites: