HOUSE POEMS (page 1)

Patricia Matthews

Another theme concerning women's social contract with which Friedberg often deals is the relationship between women and domesticity. Through images of house and home, the artist represents her connections and attachments to the "female domain" in both their repressive and nurturing functions. The "House Poems," a series of "mood poems" painted in 1990, use the sign of the house - a square with a triangle on top - as symbolic self-portraits. These works evolved out of a painting Friedberg did in 1980, although she had been using this reductive house form on and off since the 1970's. In 1990, she decided to execute 14 paintings, all in the same 20" x 20" format, in order to let various meanings surrounding the image arise as they would.

The individual paintings in this series best exemplify the power of Friedberg's approach to content. Each one sets up a different tone and mood, depending on its opacity, transparency, and color. Friedberg also manipulates the application of the encaustic to achieve a surprisingly wide range of textures.