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Now Be Here, Los Angeles, 2016

Sun 28 Aug 2016, 11.45 am

Los Angeles

Los Angeles… On Sunday 28 August 2016, 11.00 am, hundreds of Los Angeles female and female-identifying contemporary artists gathered in the city’s Downtown Arts District for a remarkable one-time-only historic portrait. Conceived by Venice-based artist Kim Schoenstadt, ‘Now Be Here’ – a gathering of 733 contemporary artists including Mary Kelly, Alison and Betye Saar and Barbara T. Smith among others — took place in the outdoor courtyard of Hauser & Wirth, at 901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90013. Schoenstadt’s community gathering comes at a time when a boundary-breaking female presidential candidate and issues of gender identity are at the forefront of cultural discourse in the United States. The gathering also marks the closing week of Hauser & Wirth’s internationally acclaimed inaugural exhibition ‘Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016.’ Through nearly 100 works made by 34 artists over the past seventy years, ‘Revolution’ traces ways in which women have changed the course of art by deftly transforming the language of sculpture from the postwar period to today.

‘Now Be Here’ has been organized by Kim Schoenstadt along with Aandrea Stang. The group photograph will be shot by noted photographers Isabel Avila and Carrie Yury. Each participating artist will receive a link to the photograph for her archive, and Schoenstadt will offer archival copies of the image to local SoCal museums and to the National Archives of American Art. A Facebook group, ‘Now Be Here – Research Archive, 2016’ has been created to crowdsource the rich archive of group photos of artists. This great resource lends both inspiration and a call to action.

‘I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the challenges and rewards of being fully present in the different parts of our lives,’ said Schoenstadt. ‘‘Now Be Here’ is an opportunity to take a snapshot of female and female-identifying working artists in the LA contemporary art community, and to bring those creative forces together in a single architectural space, where we can take a moment from our busy lives to be with each other. We hope to capture a moment in which we stand together, proud of our diversity and proud of what it means to be a working woman and an artist.’

Aandrea Stang added, ‘When Kim Schoenstadt approached me with the concept for ‘Now Be Here,’ I was immediately taken with her project’s spirit of camaraderie, and with its timeliness. While we recognize that we will not be able to document every female artist in our city, we devised a multi-tiered networking strategy to engage artists, gallerists, and curators as collaborative partners, inviting LA-based artists to participate. With the help of these many members of the city’s art community, we aim to broaden the scope of participants gathering on Sunday August 28th, and perhaps inspire other communities across the US and internationally to do the same.’

About Kim Schoenstadt
Born in Chicago IL, Kim Schoenstadt lives and works in Venice CA. Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Van Abbemusuem, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford CT; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica CA, and the Prague Biennale, 2005, among others. In 2016, Schoenstadt presented ‘Sightline Construction Series,’ and her conceptual project, ‘Book Truck #1,’ at Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles CA. She is represented by Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles CA, and Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich, Germany.

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‘Now Be Here’ participants click here for updates on the official portrait.

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