Kim Dingle

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Kim Dingle (born 1951) is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist working in paint, sculpture and installation.

Kim Dingle, "Priss", Exhibition Catalog

Dingle was born in Pomona, California. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was two months old. In 1988, she earned a B.F.A. from Cal State Los Angeles and in 1990, an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate School.

Series of works[edit]

Her first solo exhibition, “Portraits from the Dingle Library”, combined images of her mother, Cram, with portraits of iconic figures like George Washington, Queen Elizabeth II and George Foreman. Her inspiration for these works began with her mother’s belief that she is related to both George Washington and Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

Shortly after the Cram portrait series, Kim Dingle began a critique of girlhood innocence with a character based on Dingle’s niece, Wadow, who exhibited surprising violent bursts as a result of prenatal brain damage. Wadow was a major source of inspiration for the new girl characters in Dingle's art.[1] Dingle often inserted this version of Wadow and her cohorts, the "Wild Girls", into well-known historic scenes. These images reclaim famous American myths like George Washington and the cherry tree for her fleshy heroines and question the semiotics of patriotism. For example, in Untitled (Girls with Dresspole) (1998), Dingle’s leading ladies raise a "dresspole" (a long pole with a dress attached to the top) in a pose reminiscent of the famous photograph of soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

The "wild girl" works led to another series of works for Dingle, this time employing the characters "Fatty" and "Fudge". Fatty, a white girl, and Fudge, a black girl, partner up to enact their diabolic whims. Their exploits and frustrations often turn on themselves, and Fatty and Fudge inevitable resort to attacking each other. In the Never in School series, Dingle introduced anonymous school mates, whom Fatty and Fudge blissfully dominate in the absence of adults or boys.[2]

Dingle created three-dimensional works featuring Fatty and Fudge in 1997 and were renamed "Priss". The Prisses took the form of stodgy, fierce little tykes made out of porcelain and sporting extra coarse steel wool hair, thick prescription glasses and crunchy white dresses with patent leather Mary Jane shoes. Dingle hired a three-year-old girl to help design the Priss installations, which included graffitied wallpapered nursery rooms with wooden cribs being broken down and used to make spears and darts, which were then used on paintings of targets. These installations were first shown at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles and Jack Tilton in New York;[3] they also toured European museums with Sunshine Noir: the Art of Los Angeles. Priss now resides in the permanent collection at MOCA Los Angeles.[4] Priss later took the form of a 1963 MG midget car and was the poster child for the 2000 Whitney Biennial.

Kim Dingle, "63MG 4ME (detail)


David Winton Bell Gallery (Brown University) wrote that "her art illuminates the role that race, gender, stereotype and myth play in defining identity."[1] Ana Honigman states, "For Dingle’s girls, ... strength does not lie in the ability to get grown-ups or men to protect them, but in their ability to be strong for themselves."[2]

Honors and Accolades[edit]

Dingle was a participant in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Dingle's works are included in the collections of MOCA Los Angeles,[5] the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Peter Norton Family Foundation, among others. Kim Dingle’s work has been reviewed in Art in America, Arts Magazine, Art Issues, Artscene,[6] Frieze,[2] Artforum, London Financial Times and Huffington Post.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c Honigman, Ana. "RSS Kim Dingle Sperone Westwood, New York, USA". Frieze Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Smith, Roberta. "ART IN REVIEW". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Priss, 1994". The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Brown, Betty. "Sunshine and Noir". ArtScene. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

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