Vivienne Shark LeWitt has been exhibiting with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 1982. Her present series of ten canvases depict with characteristic wit various scenes of domestic life, trivial mishap and gently surreal and poetic apparitions. She gives us unnerving scenes of spilt milk and kitchen fires as well as the reassuring presence of domestic pets in sun-filled rooms and the ingredients for comfort food. A god-like authorial hand and elsewhere the feet of the Virgin descend into the frame to correct minor injustices committed here on earth. Shark LeWitt's images are full of humour, signs of humility and humaneness. The references in her works are diverse, drawing on catholic iconography, modern literature and art theory, but they are always conveyed in closely personal terms, promoting her idiosyncratic system of ethics.
Shark LeWitt paints thinly with oils in a restrained cartoon style that is the perfect vehicle for her satirical subjects. While their execution is reminiscent of 1950s illustration, these images speak of a more socially-progressive age in which men are depicted at domestic chores and women have successful literary careers. Shark LeWitt's paintings defend human and animal foible. With the title of her show, she requests that we be generous and offer forgiveness for the misdemeanours of others.
Vivienne Shark LeWitt has exhibited extensively and was included in the 1988 Australian Bicentennial Perspecta, a significant survey show, and recently in the 1999 Melbourne International Biennial Signs of Life. She is represented in most major public collections in Australia as well as many distinguished private and corporate collections such as the Bailleu Myer Collection, the Smorgon Collection, the Vizard Collection and the B.P. Collection. Her work is also held in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.