Over 700 women artists from Los Angeles' contemporary art world gathered in the courtyard of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel on Sunday, 29 August, for a historic group photo. It also signaled the final week for the gallery's inaugural exhibition Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016 (until 4 September).
The project, Now Be Here, was the brainchild of conceptual artist Kim Schoenstadt, who worked closely with the gallery's head of education Aandrea Stang. Schoenstadt thought the gallery presented the ideal “trifecta” of factors: “They had the space, the show, the staff.” In the spirit of inclusivity, the invitation was broadly distributed, mostly from artist to artist, with on-the-spot registration also available. Participants included emerging and established artists such as Alexis Smith, Cathy Opie, Lita Albuquerque, and Betye Saar, who just turned 90.
“It was an amazing experience,” says Saar, who had a front row seat in the photo and was greeted by a stream of artists who recognised her formative influence on LA art. “When you're 90, it's nice to know you've made a difference to women artists. I thought it was important I should go there, to show that you can keep working in mind and in body.”
Now Be Here, Los Angeles, 2016. Photo: Isabel Avila and Carrie Yury, Courtesy Kim Schoenstadt and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel