Kobayashi's paintings exemplify the romantic idea that "it is by feeling alone that art is to be understood," as Baudelaire has written. This view of art was later elaborated on by Kandinsky, who argued that art had to be grounded in "external necessity"—insight into feelings rather than observations of facts.
Her work is also grounded in the idea that painting should model itself on music, the purest of all the arts. As Walter Pater wrote: "All art aspires towards the condition of music." Kobayashi's music is subtle and complex. The abstract language of color and gesture seem indistinguishable, giving the paintings an uncanny presence. The colors insinuate themselves into each other even as they retain their separateness. Simmering movement and imploded power insidiously coverage. Her work speaks to Kandinsky's concern for an art of feeling that causes the soul to "vibrate."
American Art Critique