|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2013)|
Dingle was born in Pomona, California. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was two months old. In 1988, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cal State Los Angeles and in 1990, a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate School.
Series of works
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.
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. 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.
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; they also toured European museums with Sunshine Noir: the Art of Los Angeles. Priss now resides in the permanent collection at MOCA Los Angeles. Priss later took the form of a 1963 MG midget car and was the poster child for the 2000 Whitney Biennial.
David Winton Bell Gallery (Brown University) wrote that "her art illuminates the role that race, gender, stereotype and myth play in defining identity." 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."
Honors and Accolades
Dingle was a participant in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Dingle's works are included in the collections of MOCA Los Angeles, 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, Frieze, Artforum, London Financial Times and Huffington Post.
Eva Fornacs: "Modernism's Lost Future" 2014 Filosofski Vestnik Volume XXXV No. 2 pp. 29-45
Los Angeles Times 2014 Carolina A. Miranda, "Crazy Babies and Panty Hose: 5 must see works at OCMAS's "AVANT GARDE"
Los Angeles Times 2013 Deborah Vankin " Kim Dingle's Winebar for Children at Mr. Ling's Market"
Los Angeles Times 2007 David Pagel "Dingle's Return is Delicious"
Frieze, "Kim Dingle" Ana Honigman, May 2001 pp. 100-101
Frieze, "Kim Dingle at Blum & Poe", David Pagel no 21 pp 61-62
The New York Times, Ken Johnson, "Uncomfortable Beauty" December 29, 2000
The New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl, "Pragmatic Hedonism" April 3 2000
The New Yorker, "Kim Dingle", November, 27, 2000
Art Issues, Doug Harvey, "Kim Dingle at Blum & Poe November / December p. 45 1997
Artforum "Kim Dingle: Sperone Westwater" Katy Siegel, volume 37 no. 6 p. 96
Artnews, Suzanne Munchnic, "Sunshins & Noir" volume 98, no. 2 p. 110
The New York Times, Amei Wallach, "Visions of the Void Behind the California Sun" Nov 29, 1998
Bomb, Pagel, David "Kim Dingle", interview Bomb no. 52 Summer 1995
Peter Schjeldahl, "Kim Dingle" exhibition catalogue, The Renaissance Society, Otis College of Art 1995
Peter Schjdahl, Village Voice, "Bringing Up Baby" 15 November, 1994 p. 58
Art in America, Michael Duncan, " L.A. Rising" vol 83 no. 12 pp. 72-82
Robert Storr, exhibition catalogue "Mapping", Museum of Modern Art: New York and Harry N.Abrams