KERMIT OLIVER (American/Texas b. 1943) A PAINTING, "Katie Garlanded," 1976, acrylic on masonite, signed L/L, verso titled, signed, and dated. 30 1/4" x 40" Provenance: DuBose Gallery, Houston, Texas, verso paper label; private collection, Texas (since 1976). Note: Verso gallery label on frame from DuBose Gallery, Houston, Texas. Kermit Oliver's childhood as the son of an African-American cowboy in Refugio, Texas instilled in him a personal connection to the rural, ranch imagery that would become a frequent subject of his art. Studying under his teacher John Biggers at Texas Southern University in the 1960s, Oliver's precise and poignant paintings abide by Bigger's sage advice to "stay true to your own message, your own language." The 1970s saw the appreciation of Oliver's work with him becoming the first African-American artist to be represented by a commercial gallery (Dubose Gallery) in Houston. Multiple solo and group shows at Dubose included the present painting, Katie Garlanded, of 1976 and K.J.'s Calf of 1975, which was acquired for the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Notably, he was selected to be the only American to design scarves for famed French fashion house Hermès. Often associated with the influence, palette and aesthetic of Andrew Wyeth, Kermit Oliver has been nationally recognized as an important American artist through a 2005 retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston entitled "Notes from a Child's Odyssey: The Art of Kermit Oliver."