A sheet of paper and a graphite stick are Zila Friedman's only working materials. With them, she conveys her artistic quest and the need to express herself. By constantly improving her technique, she enhances the ability to express herself as an artist.
Her working space is reduced and scanty: scarce means, sparseness of color and a severe working regime. These are imposed by the choice of abstract expression, which does not include figurative images, but adopts a statement demanding a slow and deep observation from the viewer.
As listening to music involves feelings and sensations, which are sometimes very difficult, if not impossible, to translate into words, so does Friedman touch the elusive, that which we feel and know, but are unable to attain.
The drawings made during the last years are characterized by two main movements: the line recurring in mechanic strokes and the free, capering line. On the one hand, a harsh stroke relates to the binding shape of the paper square and on the other one, a free stroke that allows it to move within the strict organizing pattern. The constructive grid basis swallows the freedom of movement and acts as a kind of damper. As an organizing movement, it enables the free lines above it to caper freely, in relative security.
On the paper, dazzling with whiteness and intimidating with emptiness, the artist creates a screen of crisscrossing lines, which will provide her with a protecting and organizing basis for the more liberated actions that will follow. The whiteness of the paper is there in its entirety beyond the screen, and it can burst forth as a beam of light, announcing the primordial world existing beyond it.
The grid plays the role of a security net, enabling the artist to dare and express something boundless and spontaneous without falling in the world of chaos and emptiness represented by the white paper.
The aspect of some of the drawings bring to mind some of Moshe Kupferman's paper works, and their constant reciprocity between the paper and the constructive line repeating itself at regular spaces and acting like background to a system of free occurrences.
But there is a difference in the dialogue held by the two artists. Kupfermans' drawing is heavy and multi-layered. He threshes the paper on both sides and stamps the drawing into it, until drawing and paper become one.
Zila Friedman's touch on the paper is relatively delicate. She covers it with a kind of coat, as if it were a second skin, to protect it during the activities that will follow. Contrary to Kupfermans' paper works, her drawings are delicate and not forceful. The instincts expressed are not tough. There are no recurring activities of destruction and rebuilding, but a kind of wavering need to dare taking the freedom to express herself in the context of a protecting pattern.
Artistic search and self-search are combined. Friedman tells about herself. She applies the stamp of her life on paper. At the same time she clarifies herself to her own self, she leaves signs on paper, creating a personal artistic creation which, for all its delicacy, holds great power - the power of an artist to express her whole world by means of such humble materials.
Ada Naamani, Drawings, Artists’ House, Jerusalem, 2004