I agree with pet_pet. The main thing is that you actually LIKE the artists who you choose. If you deeply understand them because their work resonates with you then you won't have any trouble remembering information about them. They need to become your "friends".
Have a mix of contemporary, Australian (Tim Storrier would be very good now that he has won the Archibald) and then possibly a non-Western (non Anglo) artist from the Modern period <--- now that's tricky to pull out of your hat isn't it!