Trudy 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.

The Harvard 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.

Kraft 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.

These 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.

Kraft's 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.

Part of 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 vision.

The joy 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 the journey.

– Roberta Fallon, Art critic, Philadelphia Weekly

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