Distributed October 25, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Preview Nov. 9

Bell Gallery to exhibit Kim Dingle and the Wild Girls Nov. 11

The David Winton Bell Gallery at the List Art Center will present a new exhibition, Kim Dingle and the Wild Girls, Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, 2000. Dingle will speak about her work during an exhibition preview Nov. 9.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a new exhibition, Kim Dingle and the Wild Girls, from Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, 2000. An artist’s talk and exhibition preview are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. in the List Art Center Auditorium.

The exhibition will offer a survey of Kim Dingle’s paintings, sculpture and installations featuring her rambunctious and sometimes violent alter-egos, Priss and the Wild Girls.

Dingle, who grew up in California in the 1950s, is best known for her paintings of little girls in frilly dresses. However, these are not the sweet and innocent darlings of family snapshots or television sitcoms; Dingle’s girls are likely to clench their fists, furrow their brows, pummel one another with dolls or wrestle on the floor. The artist’s cartoony, energetic style conveys the fun of rebellion and the joy of being unapologetically oneself.

“Dingle’s paintings seem ripe with psychological and sociological meaning,” said Bell Gallery director Jo-Ann Conklin. “Her early works display a loopy interest in portraiture, gender reversals, the trauma of childhood and figures from American political history and pop culture.”

Three of the exhibited paintings – Cram Dingle as George Washington as Queen Elizabeth (1990), Baby Cram Dingle as George Forman (1991) and Portrait of Ed Sullivan as a Young Girl (1990) – seem to advocate the empowerment of women, said Conklin. In other works, historic scenes of patriotism are recast with female protagonists. Untitled (Hatchet) is reminiscent of a young George Washington and the cherry tree; Untitled (Girls with Dresspole) recalls the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Dingle’s characters became three-dimensional in her 1995 installation, Priss Room, included in the show. The viewer enters a nursery in chaos: stuffed toys lie mutilated on a checkerboard floor and dainty wallpaper is covered with scribbles and smears. The perpetrators – two toddlers dressed in their Sunday best – stand defiantly in their crib with clenched fists. According to the artist, the little girls are “both tough and vulnerable.”

Works in the exhibition are lent from the collections of Peter and Eileen Norton of Santa Monica, Calif., and Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg of Scarsdale, N.Y. Dingle is represented by Sperone Westwater of New York.

The Bell Gallery is located in the List Art Center at 64 College Street. The Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All events are free and open to the public.