Sister Season of Sorrow: Caitlin and Nicole Duennebier
December 8, 2021–February 13, 2022
Opening Reception: December 11, 2021 - 6:00–8:00pm
Since their youth, Caitlin and Nicole Duennebier have been creating foreboding landscapes and narratives. Both have grown to have wildly different styles, but their work still is commingled and speaks of the woods and stories made up from their childhood. Caitlin’s robust characters inhabit Nicole’s mystical, otherworldly landscapes—drinking, smoking cigs, laughing, and crying. The stark contrast creates a solid connection to the worlds that each artist creates, exemplifying what can be possible when their two techniques collide.
In each exhibition, the sisters attempt to use an entirely new medium; in Sister Season of Sorrow, they are experimenting with clockwork. Each clock is its own environment set around the strictures of the timepiece, but it is also sprawling and blithely unconcerned with being useful. The movements of each clock are attributed to the passing of time but they are swallowed up by the preoccupations of its inhabitants, or entirely ignored as they go about their private miseries.
Nicole Duennebier received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Maine College of Art with a major in painting. Her BFA thesis work was most influenced by research into the coastal ecosystems of Maine. In 2006 she was awarded the Monhegan Island Artists Residency. On the island she continued her work with sea life, and perceived a natural connection between the darkness and intricacy of undersea regions and the aesthetic of 16th-century Dutch still-life painting.
Nicole is a 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Painting Fellow and her work can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and New Britain Museum of American Art. Writing about Bright Beast, her 2013 solo show at the Lilypad in Cambridge, Cate McQuaid of the Boston Globe said Nicole’s “technical mastery gives the artist what she needs to seduce the viewer; the content lowers the boom.” Nicole has also been featured in the Portland Press Herald, Art New England and Hi-Fructose Magazine, among other publications. Nicole has worked alongside her sister Caitlin Duennebier for a number of collaborative exhibitions, most recently “Love Superior, a Death Supreme” at Simmons University.
Working in painting, drawing, sculpture, and animation, Cailtin Duennebier creates surreal narratives that focus on a cast of oddball characters. Drawn in a crude and illustrative manner, her scenes commingle threat and sly humor, showing everyday life tainted with the disappointments of violence and body image. Caitlins's imagery is populated by bemused men, fierce-looking women, and strange half-breed creatures that maintain an air of playfulness and innocence while addressing feminism, death and storytelling.
Caitlin Duennebier received her BFA in photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2009 and studied on scholarship at University of the Arts London. Cailtin lived in London between 2009 and 2014 when she began OH PAPA, a platform for her illustrative work.
Mark Porter was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, but is based in Brooklyn, where he has established a studio that merges sculpture, installation, and innovative construction techniques across mediums. Trained in classical sculpture, Mark worked as Boaz Vaadia’s assistant, finding a great affinity in the artist’s use of space and the natural environment in his sculptures.
While Mark does not deliberately court controversy, his combination of the beautiful and the disturbing rendered with a precise technique and modern mindset can lead the casual observer to mistake him for a provocateur. The greater narrative in this work, however, relates to an understanding of the truth that is revealed in the interaction between materials, form, and gesture. In this revelation, strength may be cast in disposable plastics while fragile subtle elements are embodied in steel.