by Eunice Lipton
Rachel Friedberg is a painter at a time when painting is not in fashion, and that's a fact of no consequence, because what Friedberg paints - how the works look, what they're about - is important. "From My Mother's Garden" is an ensemble of pictures addressing issues that compel many writers, choreographers, composers, as well as visual artists today - issues of death, memory and narration.
Friedberg's paintings are about a place: Her mother's garden in Brooklyn where she grew up. It is the focal point, psychologically and metaphorically, of life and death, presence and absence. It is in and around the garden that the crucial conversations take place.
The garden is figured as a round form with paths entering at either end; occasionally it is a bower and rectangular in shape. Sometime the round form is simply a table, the rectangle a door or an architectural enclosure. But all are sites where life does or does not unfold.