Laura Cumming gives 2008 a go in The Observer:
This was the year of the goldrush, the oligarch and the £50m Titian. It began with brokers ploughing their bonuses into contemporary art as if the good times would never end, peaked with Roman Abramovich’s £14m Lucian Freud and £43m Francis Bacon, and ended with the tabloids demanding Freud surrender the Russian cash to save Titian’s Diana and Actaeon for the nation. In between, Damien Hirst scored £112m in a single night at Sotheby’s, breaking all records. Money replaced meaning as art’s big mystery.