Houston

Kermit Oliver

Hooks-Epstein Gallery

It's impossible to account for the past three decades of Texas art without including Kermit Oliver in the picture. The reclusive Waco resident is known throughout the state for his haunting still lifes, landscapes, and portraits based on the Bible, classical mythology, and literature and folktales from around the globe, all retold from a contemporary point of view. He gained more widespread recognition when three of his large paintings were chosen for “Beau Monde,” Dave Hickey's SITE Santa Fe exhibition last year. But critics haven't known what to do with Oliver: They've tried to pigeonhole him as a folk artist, a magic realist, a surrealist, a contemporary figurative classicist, even a Pre-Raphaelite, to no avail. Mysterious, poignant, and wryly reflective, Oliver's work is as elusive as it is tantalizing.

The recent paintings and drawings on view in this exhibition reprise Oliver's basic

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