Apple Apologizes for Art-Crushing Ad, Pro-Palestinian Walkout at Cooper Union, Egon Schiele Ownership Dispute, and More: Morning Links for May 10, 2024

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THE HEADLINES

COOPER UNION PROTESTS. Students, faculty, and alumni of New York’s Cooper Union art and design school staged a walkout on Thursday to protest the school’s ties to Israel, reports ARTnews’ Tessa Solomon. They join other actions which are increasingly spreading around global campuses, and at art schools such as the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Demonstrators called for a “full disclosure” of the Cooper Union’s investment portfolio and divestment from any businesses connected to Israel, in addition to any weapons manufacturers. They also demanded a process be enacted for removing school board members via a vote by faculty, students, and alumni, and said a study abroad program at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem should be shut down.

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CRUSHING IT. Apple apologized Thursday for an advertisement titled “Crush,” about its latest iPad Pro model, showing symbols and tools of artistic creativity, such as paint and musical instruments, being smashed by an industrial crusher in an animated video. Then the crusher reveals the new iPad model. “Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry,” the company told Ad Age Magazine. The ad has already been seen over a million times on Apple’s YouTube channel and was shared by Apple CEO Tim Cook on social media. However, criticism was swift online, with actor Hugh Grant summing it up in his comment on X: “the destruction of the human experience courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

THE DIGEST

A bench trial has begun in Rochester, N.Y., over the rightful owners of a 1917 Egon Schiele drawing of his wife Edith Schiele. In separate claims, the heirs of two Jewish art collectors, Karl Mayländer and Heinrich Rieger, say their relatives lost the work during the Holocaust, when both perished. But the current owner, a foundation created by Robert Owen Lehman Jr., contests the claims, bringing the total number of ownership claims to three, and now under examination by Justice Daniel J. Doyle. [The New York Times]

The Terra Foundation for American Art has given a $1 million grant to the Amistad Research Center (ARC) in New Orleans to conserve a series of 1930s paintings by Jacob Lawrence depicting scenes from the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture. The grant will also go towards an exhibition of the series, which includes 41 paintings about L’Ouverture’s life and role as a leader of the Haitian Revolution. [The Art Newspaper]

Hundreds of cultural workers in Florida have signed a letter supporting the artist Khánh Nguyên Hoàng Vũ, whose piece was removed from a display in Miami Beach, because it referred to the phrase “from the river to the sea.” The exhibit was organized by the nonprofit Oolite Arts, , which has been mounting small art displays in a local Walgreens window. [Hyperallergic]

The Taiwanese video artist Li Yi-Fan has won Taipei’s Golden Horse Award for Outstanding Short Film. Yi-Fan’s film What Is Your Favorite Primitive (2023) is the first experimental art video to receive the award, and it also scooped up the Audience Choice Award and Special Jury Award. [ArtAsiaPacific]

The Belgian artist Luc Tuymans spoke to Le Figaro while working on frescoes to be unveiled in the Louvre later this month. Partly to avoid past conflicts [see Cy Twombly ceiling], Tuyman’s frescoes in the Valentin rotunda will only be visible for a year. “It will disappear. There will always be a trace, but no longer the artwork,” he said. [Le Figaro]

The South African designer Thebe Magugu has opened his first retail location in Johannesburg, including art exhibitions and events. The winner of the 2019 LVMH Prize for Young Designers said he wants the location to be a springboard for emerging artists, and a refuge for more established ones. [WWD]

THE KICKER

RESISTING, ONE ARTWORK AT A TIME. The artist LaToya Ruby Frazier shares her thoughts in a poetic piece she wrote for Cultured Magazine, in time for the opening of her first MoMA exhibition titled, “Moments of Solidarity.” “I am not a carbon copy of anyone, just as you are not a composite of your mother, father, grandparents, siblings, or extended relatives. The self-portrait you see – the image of your presence – will be the life you live,” she writes of her influences and origins behind her life and 23-year-long practice. “To photograph means to draw with light. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Later she adds: “…I’ve used my camera as a compass to direct a pathway toward the illuminated truth of the indomitable spirit of working-class families and communities in the twenty-first century. For this reason, it is incumbent upon me to resist — one photograph at a time, one photo-essay … book… monument at a time — historical erasure and historical amnesia.”

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