Present Tense

October 13, 2023 through January 7, 2024

On view in the Goldman, Richard, and Rushton Galleries


In Present Tense, contemporary artists, Kira Nam Greene (American, born South Korea), David Crismon (American, born 1964), and the collaborative team E2: Kleinveld and Julien (Elizabeth Kleinveld, American, born 1967; Epaul Julien, American, born 1972), bring a contemporary twist to art historical traditions. Working with paint or photography, these artists reveal new directions in portraiture and still life.

E2 reinvent iconic paintings to question who holds positions of power. They create new narratives that bring to life personal stories, interrogate history, and explore identity. For her still lifes and portraits, Greene echoes elements found in art movements such as Pattern and Decoration and Pop to explore materialism, femininity, and cultural exchange. In her colorful works, she melds realism and abstraction to investigate ideas of duality. David Crismon’s compelling paintings on metal reinterprets historical paintings to address current technological systems. His reconstructions included distortions, duplications, and alterations to demonstrate how our grasp of the past is fragmented yet it still has the power to impact the present, and our future.


Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.

Above: E2: Kleinveld & Julien (Elizabeth Kleinveld, American, born 1967; Epaul Julien, American, born 1972), Ode to Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage (detail), 2012, archival pigment print, lent by the artists


The artists in Present Tense bring a contemporary twist to art historical traditions. Working with paint or photography, these artists reveal new directions in portraiture and still life.

About the Artists

Kira Nam Greene

Born in Seoul, Korea, Kira Nam Greene lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, her MFA from School of Visual Arts and her BA in International Relations from Seoul National University. Prior to becoming an artist, Greene earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University, specializing in Political Economy in East Asia, and taught a wide variety of subject matters in Political Economy both in academic and business settings.

Greene has shown her work at numerous venues such as Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE; Muskegon Museum of Art, MI; Brown University, Providence, RI; Salisbury University, MD; Wave Hill, NY; Bronx Museum of Art, NY; and Noyes Museum, NJ. In 2019, Greene was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize. The artist was a Stewart MacMillan Chair in Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2017-18 and is currently a part-time faculty at the Fine Arts MFA Program at Parsons School of Design in New York. Greene is a finalist for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery sixth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

Image: Courtesy Kira Nam Greene

E2: Kleinveld and Julien

Elizabeth Kleinveld is an artist and photographer originally from New Orleans and now based in Amsterdam. Epaul Julien is an artist from New Orleans. The two artists began collaborating began in 2010, and E2’s work has been exhibited internationally in institutions such as: Royal Academy of Art, London, UK; Photoville, New York, NY; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy: Museum Castelvecchio Verona, Italy; Galerie SIRIUS, Tokyo, Japan; and the New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art both in New Orleans, LA. The duo’s work appears in numerous public and private collections, including: Benetton Collection, Treviso, Italy, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Trento, Italy; Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, LA; and The Marks Collection, Houston, TX.  

Image: Courtesy JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY New Orleans

David Crimson

Painter David Crismon lives and works in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, MO, and his MFA from the University of Oklahoma, OK. Crimon has participated in solo and group exhibitions at various venues including City Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OK; Massman Gallery at Rockhurst College, Kansas City, MO; and the Governors Gallery, Oklahoma Capitol Building, Oklahoma City, OK.

Image: Courtesy Craighead Green Gallery

Related Programs + Events

Related Publication

Present Tense


Exhibition catalogue for Present Tense at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. This 24-page catalogue features a high-gloss laminated cover, foreword from MMFA Senior Curator Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, essay by guest curator Jennifer Jankauskas, Ph.D., high quality artwork images, and artist biographies.


This exhibition is funded, in part, by a grant from Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC.

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