Friedberg pierces the material skin of the sign in order to expose the sedimented core of intuition and experience that it contains, without fully revealing its secrets. Indeed, Friedberg has spoken of "psychic isolation"3 in her pictures, the sense of dislocation and fragmentation of experience that fills her paintings with a pregnant silence. By consistently disrupting the linear chain of meaning that constitutes a narrative, her language remains mutable.
In the "Notebook Series", a geometric cell (a square or a rectangle) is anchored to the ground, an assertive presence that activates the surrounding spatial field of the picture. Friedberg's figuration is consistently placed in a deliberate and structured relation to this geometric cell, inscribed within and across it, or extending beyond it. Structurally, the form is the anchor for memory and experience within Friedberg's fragmented narratives. It delimits a proscenium for the figuration, but as a linguistic rather than a spatial field. To this end, the geometric cell is organized as a tabular structure; occasionally bisected, and often ruled with equidistant parallel lines, it reads as a blank page - the pure space of writing.
Within Friedberg's suspended narratives the lines of (unwritten) text are often effaced (Old Love) or buried beneath the encrusted surface (Creatrix). In La Belle Noiseuse, figuration and structure collide, as the nude dissolves into the horizontal bands. In Green Field, a ladder spanning the vertical axis of the picture corresponds to the diachronic structure of the narrative as a linear, temporal progression. But Friedberg's subject again dissolves in ambiguity.