Kraft's works on paper are songs in praise of cosmic
interconnectedness. Her universal signs and symbols
– radiant hemispheres, leaves, dots, and spirals
– point beyond themselves. Her saturated reds,
greens, yellows, and blues provide long, satisfying
drinks of color. Kraft orchestrates symphonies to the
wonders of life – its micro and macro excellence,
its unbelievable design, its mystery.
biologist Edward O. Wilson has argued that art and science
are on parallel paths in their search for truth and beauty.
In both art and science, the mind “seeks elegance...
to make sense out of a confusion of detail.” Kraft,
in her visual meditations on the world, has entered deeply
into chaos and reemerged into elegance.
feels that her work expresses “hidden structures that
lie just beyond ordinary perception.” Those structures
might be the life force running through all things, or the
Jungian collective unconscious, or the subatomic particles
that physicists study. Through stable motifs and repeated
patterns, her paintings suggest that the energy behind form
flows in paths that are regular and recurring.
works on paper also come to life as artifacts. With their
outer borders, deckled edges, and highly worked surfaces,
the mixed media pieces have the feel of tapestries. The extravagant
overall patterning of the “Saturation Zone” series
echoes antique Persian carpets. The staggered vertical bars
in the “Ashanti” series may allude to tribal weavings
from Africa. The luminous “Botanicals” evoke ornamental
tiles from many cultures.
imagery comes from her life – plants in the garden,
the topography of her native Texas, the exuberant colors of
Mexico. Having lived in Japan with her husband, Kenneth Kraft,
a Buddhist scholar, she also draws upon the highly refined
decorative arts of Japan.
the work's attraction is its technique, gestural and loose
yet finely crafted and controlled. Kraft patiently builds
up repeated layers of pattern using paint, ink, and masking
fluid. The process is a continuing joy for the artist, whose
love of her materials seems to match the ardor of her inner
for the viewer is to be welcomed into this beautiful space
and allowed to wander freely, imbibing its cleansing optimism.
“Art is endless, like a river flowing,” Jorge
Luis Borges once said. Kraft's art flows with the confidence
of a seasoned explorer. It is a gift to be invited along on
Roberta Fallon, Art
critic, Philadelphia Weekly