E2 – Kleinveld & Julien, a collaboration between Amsterdam-based Elizabeth Kleinveld and New Orleans-based Epaul Julien, re-imagines iconic images from the history of art to challenge the insularity of the Western art canon. Kleinveld and Julien share a mutual interest... Read More
E2 – Kleinveld & Julien, a collaboration between Amsterdam-based Elizabeth Kleinveld and New Orleans-based Epaul Julien, re-imagines iconic images from the history of art to challenge the insularity of the Western art canon. Kleinveld and Julien share a mutual interest in issues of social justice and a belief in the power of empathy and of images to change perceptions, minds, and hearts. Together they re-envision the work of old master painters beginning with the Flemish Primitives and spanning nearly 600 years through the 20th century. Their latest work, The Changing Face of Portraiture, adds iconic modern images to E2’s In Empathy We Trust series, which serves to ground the collection firmly in the present time and place.
E2’s re-envisioned “Odes” replace the figures from their corresponding originals with individuals of varying race, age, gender, and sexual orientation. The images are created meticulously, with costumes and staging that are as accurate as possible, while small anachronisms create a palpable tension between past and present. Although many of these images are notable for their wit and playfulness, they address difficult questions of race, gender, and sexuality. E2 hopes that viewers will examine their own stereotypes and implicit biases to re-evaluate what does and does not align with their expectations of how a work of art – and by extension, a culture – should look.
E2’s images serve as a corrective to the whitewashing of history through visual art, reminding viewers that the depth and diversity of our past is rarely represented in our visual and artistic histories. In a moment where America’s continuous struggles with race and gender have been pushed into the limelight, these images serve as a timely and urgent reminder of how much work is yet to be done to stop discrimination and inequality. It is imperative that we not only work to correct the wrongs of history, but also that we refuse to perpetuate those wrongs today.
E2 has been exhibited internationally in institutions such as: Royal Academy of Art (London), Photoville (New York), Gemeentemuseum (The Hague), Palazzo Fortuny (Venice), Museum Castelvecchio (Verona), Galerie SIRIUS (Tokyo), New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans). The duo is represented by JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, New Orleans and their work appears in numerous public and private collections, including: Benetton Collection (Treviso, Italy), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Trento, Italy), Hilliard University Art Museum (Lafayette, LA) and The Marks Collection (Houston).