Folding Chair brings up artnet’s January 27th report that Christie’s will auction off Refco’s photography collection in the wake of the company’s bankruptcy. What is worth noting about the story is that Francis Dittmer assembled the collection. Frances was wife of Thomas Dittmer, the head of Refco. Refco was sold in 1998 to Phillip Bennett... And you’ve got to love artnet’s language on this) “...who is credited with leading Refco into bankruptcy.” Good job, Phil.
Frances Dittmer divorced Thomas Dittmer and stayed on at Refco as a consultant. It was during Bennett’s tenure that she built the photography collection.
Why is this of note? Because James Rondeau is the Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago-wise it also gets sticky in regards to a piece by Andreas Gursky and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Matthew Marks, the gallerist who’s famously declared that all of his artists belong in museums, sold on of Gursky’s Avenue of the Americas prints to Refco. The deal being that Refco would eventually give it to the MCA. The MCA owns 10% now, Refco pledged the remaining 90% be given to the MCA by 2008. This is all uncertain now that the collection is being auctioned as part of Refco’s bankruptcy.
Artists in the collection soon to be on the block include: Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci Janine Antoni, Matthew Barney, Chris Burden, Sophie Calle, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Olafur Eliasson, Walker Evans, Eva Hesse, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Ana Mendieta, Gordon Matta-Clark, Mariko Mori, Catherine Opie, Richard Prince, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha Andres Serrano, Laurie Simmons, Gavin Turk, and Andy Warhol.
Art or Idiocy? found all the nitty gritty in a Bloomberg article from January 19th HERE
There is also a Tribune report from December 13th HERE
The collection’s catalogue, with entries by Adam Brooks, Dave Hickey, Kathryn Hixson and David Rimanelli is HERE