In all of these paintings, the figuration inhabits the space of language and writing, the space where memory is held, and experience is made intelligible. But the artist refuses to align syntax and sign in a formal consummation of meaning. In The Word a highly reductive panel of 1991, Friedberg discloses her project: a grey rectangular field, inscribed in the upper center with a horizontal line (a floating particle of speech - a dash or a hyphen), is suspended over a red ground. In the absence of figuration, the silent space emerges as a field of pure expectation, the symbolic arena where the self is inscribed in language.


1.Rachel Friedberg, artist's statement, Long Island Artists, exhibition catalogue, Roslyn, New York: Nassau County Museum of Fine Art (24 January – 6 March, 1988).

2. Rachel Friedberg, artist’s statement, Eleven Painters, East Hampton, New York: Guild Hall Museum (10 August - 21 September, 1986), p. 18.

3. Ibid., p. 18