Jona Frank: Model Home

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Exhibition: Jona Frank: Model Home

Dates:

Location:

Becker Gallery, Focus Gallery, Media Gallery, Center Gallery
"Jona Frank: Model Home" builds on artist Jona Frank’s Cherry Hill project, launched in its first phase through "Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined." Frank, a noted photographer is known for her sensitive exploration of young people beginning to discover themselves and to assert their own sense of identity.

Selected Works

A black wall  rotary phone on green wallpaper with daisies
1972,  archival pigment print. 30" x  40"
A Christmas tree with old fashioned tinsel on the left. A woman sitting on a sofa on the right.  There are wrapped Christmas gifts in the foreground
Christmas, 1957, archival pigment print. 40" x 50"
A fruit pie with a lattice crust on a tablecloth with a blue floral pattern
Cherry Pie,  archival pigment print. 36" x 24"
A woman and child in matching outfits of red polka dotted dresses with black and white checked aprons holding  pies in a 1950s looking kitchen
Mirror. Mirror, archival pigment print. 50" x 80"
A girl standing in a supermarket among boxes of the cereal "Lucky Charms" that have fallen on the floor
Lucky Day, archival pigment print. 30" x 40"
A white and red house with bright green shutters being lifted off the ground by an explosion of fire and smoke
Garfield Ave. #2,  video. 30" x 40"
A girl standing in front of a wall in a dress that matches the wallpaper
Home, archival pigment print. 40" x  50"

About

Jona Frank: Model Home, organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art  builds on artist Jona Frank’s Cherry Hill project, launched in its first phase through Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined (New York: Monacelli Press, 2020). Frank, a noted photographer is known for her sensitive exploration of young people beginning to discover themselves and to assert their own sense of identity, as evidenced by projects such as such as The Modern Kids (2015), Right (2008), and High School (2004). In Cherry Hill: Model Home, Frank turns her lens on the world of her own upbringing. But Frank’s self-investigation, does not directly picture the photographer, but instead uses surrogates, prompting further interrogation of just what it means to “perform” the self. Actor Laura Dern stands in for Frank’s mother, Rose, while a sequence of younger actors—who we watch mature in this narrative—represent the budding photographer. In this assemblage of unsettling “Kodak moments,” pictures brandish moments of aggressive suburban pride: an expectant young mother places her hand over her abdomen with a knowing smile; mother and daughter in matching outfits show off “picture-perfect” pies. Other images, however, undermine this conceit: an overturned cereal display betrays the same daugher’s humiliation in the face of creating an unintended disruption at the supermarket. With humor and candor Frank pictures the moments that punctuate her memory and that shaped her as an individual. Observing the monumental in everyday experience, Frank, in exploring her own memories weaves a narrative that will resonate poignantly with broad audiences. In so doing Jona Frank: Model Home casts a picture of American Suburbia in the post-space age era that casts a critical light on the domestic fantasies that not only enchanted but also entrapped their adherents.

 

We extend special thanks to Andria Polo Brizuela ’22, Cameron Snow ’22, Daniel Rechtschafen ’18, Lisa Alonzo, Stephen Bunn, Eggy Ding, Aaron Kohr, Danae Lagoy, Martin Meunier, and Aleix Pons Olivier. The exhibition is supported by the Elizabeth B. G. Hamlin Fund, the Stevens L. Frost Endowment Fund, Peter Grua ’76 and Mary O’Connell ’76, Laura Dern, and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation

Installation Views