Antony Gormley’s Alan Turing Memorial to Grace King’s College, Antiquities Collector Faces Charges, and More: Morning Links for August 9, 2022

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The Headlines

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INSIDE JOB? Officials in New York have obtained an arrest warrant for antiquities collector Georges Lotfi on charges of possession of stolen property, the New York Times reports. They have seized two dozen items from Lofti’s holdings that they say were looted, most of them mosaics from Syria and his native Lebanon. The collector, who had tipped off investigators to illegal trafficking in the past, has denied wrongdoing. He remains at large, but did an interview with the Times, and said, “I was fighting with them for 10 years to stop illicit trading, and they turned against me.” In the past, Lofti apparently invited law-enforcement officials to see some of what he had in storage in Jersey City, New Jersey; authorities argue that his efforts to cultivate a working relationship with them were aimed at shielding his own activities from suspicion.

NOTCHING A WIN. Some students at Imperial College London have recently said that they are not fans of a sculpture that Antony Gormley has proposed for the school’s grounds, arguing that it has a “phallic” quality to it (you can click and decide), but another U.K. school will soon be home to a new Gormley, the Art Newspaper reports. Cambridge’s city council signed off on a plan to install at King’s College a 12-foot-tall piece by the British superstar—an abstracted body made of cubic forms—that aims to commemorate the renowned 20th-century mathematician Alan Turing, who was persecuted for being gay. This piece had also generated some controversy, with Historic England reps saying back in 2020 it “would harm the particular character” of the school.

The Digest

British artist Lubaina Himid has won the 2024 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize, which comes with $200,000 and exhibitions at the Contemporary Austin in Texas and the FLAG Art Foundation in New York. [ARTnews]

A shooting at the Indian Museum in Kolkata on Sunday killed one police officer, and left another injured. A soldier alleged to have opened fire has been arrested. [ArtReview]

The first part of a two-part expansion of the Motown Museum in Detroit has been completed. On Monday, stars like Smokey Robinson and Otis Williams visited to toast the milestone. [The Associated Press]

In his latest dispatch from Ukraine, critic Jason Farago looks at how museums worked to safeguard their collections as war approached. “We had to start from scratch,” photographer Roman Metelskiy, who was part of those efforts, said. “We were asking for packaging materials. For financial support.” [The New York Times]

Benjamin Keating’s latest show, at Tripoli Gallery, in Wainscott, New York, features sculptures that incorporate bonsai trees. Doing business with “famous bonsai guys” was not easy. “It’s like they don’t want to talk to you,” he said. “They don’t want to deal with you.” [The New Yorker]

The Manhattan home of Stacey Bendet, the fashion designer who founded the Alice + Olivia brand, and her husband, investor Eric Eisner, features a gargantuan Francesco Clemente, works by Julian Schnbael and Ron Gorchov (among others), and a dining table designed by Lola Montes Schnabel[Architectural Digest]

The Kicker

IN LIVING COLOR. The venturesome art dealer Magda Sawon, cofounder of the nomadic Postmaster gallery in New York, sat in the hot seat for Curbed and answered its “21 Questions.” The color she is most drawn to? “Blue, from the super-extreme Diana Vreeland navy blue to Yves Klein blue to a cloud where the whiteness is touched by a tiny, tiny amount of pigment,” Sawon said. “My favorite film is Blue, by Derek Jarman, which is nothing but blue for 60 minutes.” [Curbed]


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