An edited selection of Thornton’s articles about the geopolitics of contemporary art, the art market and artists at work:

“Tino Sehgal: The fine art of human interaction” July 12, 2012.

“Why buy art?” June 22, 2012.

“The Price of Being Female: Post-war artists at auction” May 20, 2012.

“Gilbert & George: London, darling.” March 1, 2012.

“Jeff Wall: Many Indecisive Moments” November 30, 2011.

“‘Emirati Expressions’ of change” November 24, 2011.

“Financial Machinations at the Auctions” November 18 2011

“Gerhard Richter: The Bold Standard” The Economist October 8, 2011.

“The Istanbul Biennial: Vintage is the new vanguard” The Economist September 24, 2011.

“The wild, wild world of contemporary art in China” The Economist July 21, 2011.

“Bubbly Basel” June 22, 2011.

“The Venice Biennale: Art as a Political Game” The Economist June 11, 2011.

“The Wizards of the Warhol Market” 17 May 2011.

“Art, diplomatically deployed: Tarek Al-Ghoussein” April 19, 2011.

“Ai Weiwei’s Blog: A digital rallying cry” April 12, 2011.

“Art in the Middle East: Foment of the moment” The Economist 26 March 2011.

“The market sprawls: London’s contemporary art sales” 18 Feb 2011.

“Nuno Ramos: Ballad of a Culture Vulture” February 11, 2011.

“A Passion that knows no bounds: Philippe Segalot’s Carte Blanche, the auction as self- portrait” 19 November 2010.

“Faith in Art: the Abu Dhabi art fair” 10 November 2010.

“The ‘Scratchy’ Market: Making sense of the art trade during Frieze week” 20 October 2010.

“Hands up for Hirst: How the bad boy of Brit-Art grew rich at the expense of his investors” The Economist 9 Sept 2010.

“Sewing up the past: The secret to the longevity of Louise Bourgeois’s creativity” 22 Sept 2010.

“Discipline without Punishment: Monica Bonvicini in Berlin” 18 August 2010.

“Herr Cragg, Der Sculptor Boss” 4 August 2010.

“Brothers in Exile: Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh” 28 July 2010.

“The Elephant in the Room” 2 July 2010.

“Global frameworks: Art-fair musical chairs” The Economist 26 June 2010.

“Smoked Venison: Can an auction house successfully manage an artist’s primary market?” 3 June 2010.

“Rogue Urinals: Has the art market gone Dada?” 24 March 2010.

“Branding in the New York Art World” 10 March 2010.

“Out of the ashes: London’s Contemporary sales” 17 February 2009.

“Book review: Henry Adams’s Tom and Jack: The intertwined lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson PollockThe Economist 12 December 2009.

“The highs and lows of the Pop master: Andy Warhol is the bellwether” The Economist 28 November 2009.

“How to make art history: Validation in the contemporary market” The Economist 28 November 2009.

“New or Second Hand: The ins and outs of the primary and secondary markets” The Economist 28 November 2009.

“Dollars, Cents and Sensibility: Warhol and Doig do it again” 14 November 2009.

“A Fair Price at Frieze” 17 October 2009.

“Against the Odds: The strange case of Maurizio Cattelan” October 2, 2009.

“Warhol and Gursky: Two artists who understand the beauty of business” 20 September 2009

“Happy Days for Some: The art market may have simmered down, but a few artists are still in high demand” 4 July 2009.

“Hippie Picasso: Why is late Picasso enjoying a surge in demand?” 27 June 2009.

“Art Basel: Collectors like nothing better than a good economic downturn” The Economist 20 June 2009.

“Crossing to safety: New York’s uneven contemporary art sales” 16 May 2009.

“Report from Moscow: The Bear still hungers for new art” The Economist 28 March 2009.

“Caveat Venditor: Underbidder on Chinese bronzes was planning to gift” The Economist 6 March 2009.

“Bull for a night: Echoes of the boom in a notable Paris sale” 28 February 2009.

“Scattered to the winds: The YSL/Pierre Berge sale” The Economist 30 January 2009.

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“Top 10 reasons not to report on the art market” Tar Fall 2012.


“The Art of Recession Dodging” The Guardian February 6, 2012

“My libel victory underlines the need for journalists to check their facts” July 29, 2011.

“If the work is free, is it art? The art market through artists’ eyes” The Guardian 16 Oct 2008.


“Damien Hirst reinvents himself as a lonely romantic painter.” Sunday Times Magazine 3 October 2009.


“What is an artist?” Canadian Art 2 February 2012.

“The craft of being an artist” Canadian Art 3 May 2012.

“The recipe for a record price: Auction house hype, media frenzy and billionaire buyers” The Art Newspaper May 2008.

“An in-depth investigation of the Francis Bacon market” The Art Newspaper Sept 2008.

“In and Out of Love with Damien Hirst” The Art Newspaper Oct 2008.


Jeff Koons in Frankfurt: June 2012
CAA conference February 2012
CAA conference February 2011
Sotheby’s November 2009
Christie’s November 2009
Christie’s May 2009
Sotheby’s May 2009
Christie’s November 2008
Sotheby’s November 2008
Art Basel June 2008
Sotheby’s May 2008
Christie’s May 2008
Sotheby’s November 2007
Christie’s November 2007
Frieze Fair October 2007
Art Basel June 2007
Christie’s May 2007
Sotheby’s May 2007
CAA Conference February 2007
Christie’s November 2006
Sotheby’s November 2006
Frieze Fair October 2006
Milano September 2006
Art Basel June 2006
Art Basel June 2006
Christie’s May 2006
Sotheby’s May 2006


“Letter from London: Reality Art Show” The New Yorker 19 March 2007.


“An Academic Alice in Adland: Ethnography and the Commercial World” Critical Quarterly vol. 41, no. 1, 1999.


“Is Art The New Gold” The Daily Telegraph 3 Oct 2008.

“Untitled L.A.: A Visit to the Studios of Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Mary Kelly, and Ed Ruscha” ArtReview May 2006 (re-published by

“Dave Muller: The Lyrical Archivist” ArtReview February 2006 (re-published by

“The Artist is the Institution” Art Monthly Dec 2005.

“Nocturnes” Contemporary April 2004.