Editor’s Note: ARTnews has issued an apology to the family of Rebeccah Blum regretting that the original version of this article covering the shocking news of Blum’s murder hadn’t been more respectful of her and her many accomplishments. Read a separate obituary of Blum, published on July 29, 2020, here.
Saul Fletcher, a British-born, Berlin-based artist, is the subject of an investigation “on the suspicion of murder” of Rebeccah Blum, a well-regarded Berlin-based curator who was found dead last week before Fletcher reportedly committed suicide. Blum’s death was confirmed this week by her daughter, Emma Blum.
In a statement sent to ARTnews, a spokesperson for the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the news. The statement added, “According to the present state of knowledge, [Fletcher] first killed the woman you named [Rebeccah Blum] and then committed suicide. Investigations into the causes of death and the circumstances of the crime are still ongoing.”
The spokesperson did not provide further details about the investigation, including those that have been circulating in the press surrounding the story, which was first reported by the Daily Mail.
Rebeccah Blum, who was in a romantic relationship with Fletcher, was a well-regarded independent curator in Berlin. She had previously worked as director at ScheiblerMitte, an outpost of Berlin’s Aurel Scheibler gallery. She also ran a fine art management services, Blum Fine Art Management, and an editing service focused on German-to-English translation, Wordsmith. She also worked for over 10 years as the European representative for David Nolan Gallery in New York. Read a full obituary for Blum.
“I love her so much and I miss her so terribly,” Emma Blum, her daughter, wrote on Instagram. “She was just by taken from me, without warning and in such a violent way by one of the people she loved. I can never forgive this and I can never forget this. I want her name to be remembered and nobody else’s.”
The three galleries that represented Fletcher at the time of his death—Anton Kern Gallery in New York, Knust Kunz Gallery Editions in Munich, and Grice Bench in Los Angeles—provided to ARTnews a joint statement regarding the reports: “We are devastated, appalled, and shocked by the tragic loss of Rebeccah Blum and Saul Fletcher. We are all grief-stricken and confused. We offer our deepest condolences to their families and together are offering our support and help.”
Fletcher first came to prominence in the late 1990s when he began showing with New York’s Anton Kern Gallery. His work has appeared in major international exhibitions as well, including the 30th Bienal de São Paulo in 2012, the 4th Berlin Biennale in 2006, and the 2004 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.
Update, July 30, 2020: This article has been updated to include a statement from the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office confirming that Saul Fletcher is a suspect in the investigation into Rebeccah Blum’s murder.