733 Female Artists Gather for Kim Schoenstadt’s Giant Photo Op

Barbara T. Smith, Betye Saar, Catherine Opie, and more icons were present.

Kim Schoenstadt, Now Be Here, Los Angeles (2016). Photo Isabel Avila and Carrie Yury. Courtesy Kim Schoenstadt and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.
Now Be Here, Los Angeles (2016). Photo Isabel Avila and Carrie Yury. Courtesy Kim Schoenstadt and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.

August 28 was a good day to be a female artist in Los Angeles, as photographer Kim Schoenstadt brought some 733 of them together Sunday for a group photo shoot at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.

Schoenstadt’s project, “Now Be Here,” included artists including Liz Glynn, Mary Kelly, Catherine Opie, Alison and Betye Saar, and Barbara T. Smith, and the courtyard shoot marked the close of “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016.” (Isabel Avila and Carrie Yuri actually took the photographs.)

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the challenges and rewards of being fully present in the different parts of our lives,” Schoenstadt wrote in her invitation, which described the event as “an opportunity for us to capture a moment where we stand and be present with each other in all of our diversity.” The title for the event recalls the title of Ram Dass’s famous Be Here Now, a 1971 book on spirituality and meditation.

Chicago-born Schoenstadt is represented in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and has exhibited at venues including the Van Abbemuseum, in the Netherlands; Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, Connecticut.

The shoot provided a counterpoint to a recent staged event by photographer Spencer Tunick, who invited 100 women to pose nude outside the Republican National Convention, this past summer in Cleveland.

The 733 attendees were from a stunning 877 who RSVP’d; the names of participants will be published “over time,” says the project’s website, adding, “Please be patient.”


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