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September 26, 2008

Lehman CEO's wife to sell $20 Million in Art....

Kathy Fuld, the wife of bankrupt Lehman Brothers CEO, Dick Fuld, is selling her Abstract Expressionist drawings at Christies in November.

It is just one of many examples, why the fate of the Art Market, and Wall Street are so closely linked.

Matsue_Cell40 MAO sadly has attended some very empty NYC art Charity events the last few weeks, one where the live auction was abruptly canceled due to the high potential for total embarrassment limited bidders.

As the Winkleman appointed reluctant leader of the Art Market Death Toll Cheerleaders, we unfortunately welcome our readers to the US Art Recession of 2008.

(Photo #1, by Taiji Matsue, Cell Photo 40EDI 2008, 19" x 19", 2008, edition of 5, c-print)

Here's the details of the Fuld story... from Lindsay Pollock of Bloomberg news.


Kathy Fuld, Wife of Lehman CEO, to Sell $20 Million of Artworks

2008-09-26 04:57:30.740 GMT By Lindsay Pollock

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Kathy Fuld, the art-collecting wife of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, is selling a $20 million set of rare Abstract Expressionist drawings at a November auction, according to two art dealers.

Christie's International, which is offering the works in New York on Nov. 12, declined to reveal the seller's identity. The auction house announced the sale of the drawings, including three by Willem de Kooning, four days after Lehman filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Sept. 15. Two New York-based dealers who specialize in similar works said Fuld is the seller. They declined to be named.

``These kinds of drawings are extremely rare,'' said Amy Cappellazzo, co-head of Christie's Postwar and contemporary art department. ``The collector considers drawing as a primary art form.''

Richard Fuld earned $34.4 million in 2007 running the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank -- pay that lawyers said may be the target of lawsuits by creditors. He sold Lehman shares that were worth $247 million a year and a half ago for less than $500,000 last week after the stock price collapsed.

The Christie's auction includes the de Koonings, five Barnett Newmans, four Arshile Gorkys and four Agnes Martins. De Kooning's kinetic orange-haired 1951 ``Woman'' in graphite, charcoal, pastel and oil on paper is expected to fetch as much as $4 million.

The collection was assembled over a number of years, according to Cappellazzo, who said the seller first approached Christie's and rival Sotheby's about an auction in the summer.

Christie's completed the deal in August, she said. Fuld is well known in the art world for her passion for works on paper.

High-Level Buyer

``She buys at the highest level,'' said New York dealer Joan Washburn. ``If you have a great drawing, you offer it to her.''

Fuld is vice-chairman of the board of trustees at New York's Museum of Modern Art and has promised a number of artworks to the museum including works by Jasper Johns and Louise Bourgeois.

Phone calls and emails to the press offices of Lehman and MoMA seeking comment from Fuld were unanswered.

Among the drawings slated for sale is a 1946-47 Gorky drawing titled ``Study for Agony I,'' estimated to sell for up to

$2.8 million. The drawing is a study for ``Agony,'' a 1947 red and brown abstract painting owned by MoMA.

Newman's 1960 black-and-white ink-on-paper ``Untitled'' is expected to fetch up to $2 million. The same work sold at Sotheby's in New York in 1997 for $244,500, according to the Artnet pricing database. Billionaire Ronald Lauder is listed among prior owners in the 2004 Yale University Press ``Barnett Newman: a Catalogue Raisonne,'' a directory of the artist's output.

The Fulds lent two other Newmans to the artist's 2002 retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, curated by Ann Temkin, who was recently named MoMA's chief curator.

Larger Collection

Dealers say the works at auction are a small part of a larger collection which also includes contemporary artists such as Brice Marden. A New York dealer said a Jackson Pollock drawing owned by Fuld was offered for sale this summer at the Art Basel art fair held in June in Switzerland.

Since the Lehman collapse, Kathy Fuld has kept up her public appearances. Guests noticed her on Tuesday night at a farewell cocktail party at MoMA for retiring curator Kynaston McShine.


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I can't believe you didn't use another one of Jill Greenberg's Crying Baby photos for this story..

Well.. at least the Taiji Matsue.. are much better artistic photographs.

These Fall Art auctions are going to be interesting.. Let the games begin!

The Modern Art auctions are shaping up to be pretty good from what I read. But we won't see the Contemporary catalogs for a couple of weeks. There is, however, a terrific Christie's Contemporary Photography auction in NY on Oct. 13 that is already online. It's definitely worth checking out. Lots of MAO favorites. Here's the link:


I'm certainly praying for a blowout in the contemporary art market similar to today's action on Wall Street. Hopefully before more morons can get their crap to market.

hello !
I'd like you to come and speak about your blog on www.art-forums.com
The Webmaster.

would be nice if some of these formerly wealthy institutions paid some bills with money derived from art or whatever. too many golden parachutes

It will be interesting to see not only how this recession affects volume of output, but collective concept and style. While I won't go so far as Adam did above and thank the recession for limiting 'crap', I will concede that in various circles the Art world may recently have become too inflated and it will be refreshing (amidst any hardship that may lie ahead) to witness some new material hit the community and--perhaps--a paradigm shift in the mainstream. I've liked and disliked a lot of the trends in contemporary art of late, both mainstream and that more under the radar, but I think it's time a change were precipitated (if only to appease my attention deficit, or for posterity's sake), and an economic crisis is as it historically proven to be: a catalyst.

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