Dearest Santa: the best limited edition artworks for sale from galleries this Christmas

By Mark Sheerin | 09 December 2013

Limited edition artworks are the Chirstmas gifts which give both ways. Not only are they just right for the person who has everything, in many cases they provide valuable support to the galleries you buy them from. 

Colour photo of a sunlit lake with magenta lens flare
Dan Holdsworth print available from BALTIC© Dan Holdsworth
But then, once installed, they should give a little more each time your loved one claps eyes on them. We’ve selected a dozen of the best from around the country, any one of which would look great on the wall here at Culture24, should any festive philanthropists be reading.

Colour photo of an artist wearing a stags head in a cathedral
All images refer to entries below...©
Marcus Coates, Radio Shaman, Stavanger Cathedral, Norway, 2006, Whitechapel Gallery

This is bargain of the season to get you started, £95 at time of writing. But be aware, as multiples sell out their prices begin to rise. Here you find art world shaman Coates, decked out in dead animals on the occasion of a film in Norway. Believe in him, rather than Santa.

Black and white print of a still life with motto "I am my still life"
Raymond Pettibon, I am My... , 2001, Whitechapel Gallery

As yuletime is steeped in tradition, here’s a conventional still life, if only just. So Pettibon’s composition is all-American thanks to a baseball  nestled amid the fruit and a stoner motto across the top. You will also notice a guttering candle, a nod to Gerard Richter, perhaps. Either way, this is a deadpan desirable.

Blakc and white photo of a stylish woman descending a staircase
Bernadette Corporation with Benjamin Alexander Huseby, BC Lifestyle INT 3, 2013, ICA

It is very much to be doubted whether art-fashion-terrorists Bernadette Corporation celebrate Xmas. They are more likely to be staging aloof scenes such as the one in this photo, where a staircase takes the place of a catwalk. If your loved one enjoyed the show at ICA this year, they should like this.

Black and white photo of a four piece rock band
Tom Sheehan, The Smiths, February 1984, ICA

It’s not often you can pick up a classic author in a classic band in a classic photo. But since Morrissey is publishing news at the moment, it might be a good time to invest, on someone else’s behalf, in an impeccable bit of Smiths memorabilia. 1984, those were the days.

Colour map of Hyde Park in tondo format
Michael Craig-Martin , Map 2013, Serpentine Gallery

Make no mistake, this is not the kind of map you take out with you folded into an anorak pocket. The colours alone will tell you this is a work by Michael Craig-Martin. The details will tell you it is tailored towards art lovers. Directions to the Serpentine: another gift that keeps on giving.

Colour photo of an owl with a image library watermark across the picture
STURTEVANT,  Rock & Rap Simulacra Act 3, Serpentine Gallery

If you were so minded, you could probably make your own Sturtevant artwork for your nearest and dearest this noël. Taken from a library of stock film, her hypnotic eagle owl comes complete with an anti-piracy watermark. So which is the real thing? Either way this makes a great, if ironic, gift.

Colour photo of a framed print showing a subaquatic photo of a floating branch

Shimabuku,  Leaves Swim (2013), Ikon Gallery

At Ikon this year, a childlike discovery that some fruit floats while other fruit sinks, inspired a whole show by Japanese artist Shimabuku. Now you can give someone the chance the share his delight in the fact that a bushel of leaves will hang suspended in a tank of water resembling s tropical fish.

Black and white print showing a parkland view with a fine mesh overlaid
Hurvin Anderson, B side, Ikon Gallery

Who would not like to find this tree under the tree on the 25th? It’s limited edition and the artist is hot property. B side is the black and white rejoinder to his recent show at Ikon, a hallmark scene of foliage overlaid with a restrictive grid. It is a good window on Hurvin Anderson’s world

Colour photo of four costumed artists having lunch on a traffic island

Asco, First Supper (After a Major Riot), 1974, Nottingham Contemporary

This could be one for the dining room. Chicano art provocateurs Asco gather for a meal on a traffic island which once staged a fatal civil rights march. This is a still from a film they never intended to make and they called such performances No Movies. History then, for a very reasonable price.

Colour photio of a wooden CD box set with the title One Million Years

On Kawara, One Million Years (Past and Future) 2004, South London Gallery

Get the carols off the stereo and present the music fan in your life with a box set of a spoken word artwork by On Kawara. Assuming the whole family is into durational art they will be entranced by a reading of dates from 983,796BC to 983, 069BC and 19,156AD to 19,940AD.

Colour photo of a sunlit lake with magenta lens flare
© Dan Holdsworth
Dan Holdsworth, Mount St. Helens from Spirit Lake, 2012, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

An eye-pleasing scene that might still appeal even if your giftee is a contemporary art sceptic. Better still, the blue sky and lens flare offer some much needed winter sun. You need not announce the fact this is a comment on landscape and “the material concerns of West Coast Minimalism”.

Black and white photo of movement on the surface of a Scottish loch
Gerard Byrne, Inkjet Print from Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems), 2001-2011, MK Gallery

Whether or not they screen One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing this year, there is something of a wintry yarn about this print of the supposed Loch Ness Monster. With his interest in the history of media Gerard Byrne is an artist for our volatile times and his Nessie work is amongst his most celebrated.

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Where to find the best Christmas gifts online from UK museum and gallery shops

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter
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