A booming year for the art world

This newsletter we look at some of the great art sales of the year, a Turner Prize surprise, and the theft of two Damien Hirst spot paintings.

2013 sees record art sales

This has been a very good year for art sales. Thanks to works by Freud, Koons, and Warhol the world’s leading auction houses are celebrating a booming year.

The $142m spent on Francis Bacon’s Lucien Freud triptych is a mere fraction of the art market this year and the same sale saw a Jeff Koons sculpture, Balloon Dog, change hands for $58.4m

It doesn’t matter that there’s a global recession on – the art market is booming and according to auction house Christie’s that’s at all levels, including the under £100,000 mark.

In fact the auction house reports sales of all works increased by 10% last year to nearly $6.3bn and this year’s figures are up a further 9% on last year.

Un Turner Français

Who would’ve thought a French artist who examines our relationship with the past using ‘Instagram-esque’ tech would win the Turner prize? Not many.

Laure Prouvost, 35, a French artist who studied in London, was the rank outsider from a 2013 shortlist that included: Tino Seghal and David Shrigley.

And no one was more shocked than Prouvost (who was visibly taken aback) when her name was read out.

Penelope Curtis, Tate Britain director and chair of the judges, said the panel was drawn into Prouvost’s work “more deeply than they imagined they would be”.

Prouvost was shortlisted for a piece first shown as part of a Kurt Schwitters exhibition at Tate Britain. Prouvost was intrigued by the artist’s partner, Edith Thomas, nicknamed Wantee because of her habit of asking “want tea?”.

Hirst stolen from London

It doesn’t equal the theft of Munch’s The Scream but two signed Damien Hirst ‘Spot’ works of art worth £33,000 have been stolen from a gallery in London.

The artworks were taken from the Exhibitionist Gallery in Notting Hill in the small hours of Monday morning in a targeted raid.

The larger of the two, Pyronin Y, is worth £15,000, the second is Oleoylsarcosine and is valued at £18,000.

If you want your own Hirst why not visit Monograph’s Hirst page and tell the police if you see the other two!

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