A structural dialectic resides in the paintings that comprise the "House Poems." All are based on a consistent pattern of a single color field inflected mainly by a reductive, clearly outlined house shape in the center of the canvas. The disorderly tensions and emotions of the experiences of life interrupt this rational, even, geometric, order. These more active intervening elements situate the otherwise neutral house as a site of projected meanings. Friedberg recognizes that houses are more than shelter; they are places that we imbue with deep, complex and interpenetrating meanings. The house is the place in which we invest our emotional selves, where we are free to experience our intimate selves (the private as opposed to the public self that we present to the world. Especially for women, the house and home have particular significance. Women have been consigned to the domestic sphere for centuries. Their lives and experiences, positive and negative, have been centered there. Indeed, Friedberg goes so far as to say that she cannot identify any feeling without tying it to a house. In 1990, at the age of 61, she had spent her life in only two houses.
The paintings in this series depict the mood and mode of women's experiences in the domestic realm. Picket Fence has an air of bitterness and domestic discontent. Placed in a field of pure white, the dark, ominous house form contains figures in a stereotypical relationship, the woman kneeling before the omnipotent man. All is not well despite the sign of domestic bliss: the picket fence.