press release

Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Kim Dingle. For her first show since 2000, Dingle will present a new series of multi-part paintings on vellum entitled “Studies for the Last Supper at Fatty’s Cafe.”

Following her last show in New York, the artist, finding herself in need of strong coffee, portioned out a space in her Los Angeles studio and opened a public coffee bar with unusual extra fare of soups, salads and fondue. Dingle named this enterprise Fatty’s. Almost instantly upon opening this modest venture, the artist unwittingly began a journey down – down—down into the bottomless pit of a vortex known as the Food Service Industry—tough for professionals and devastating for amateurs. But, Fatty’s soon boomed out of control into a popular supper house and wine bar.

After five years of slinging vegetarian equivalent fancy hash on this runaway freight train of a job, the artist went back into the studio by day to create “Studies for the Last Supper.” Dingle is not referencing Da Vinci’s painting, “The Last Supper.” She says she hasn’t seen it lately. The title “Last Supper” simply appeals to a reluctant restauranteur.

With her signature gestural brushwork, Dingle creates scenes of foreboding and chaos against the backdrop of white plates, wooden tables and colorful garbage. Using a palette described by one critic as “evocative of both the sepia tones of daguerreotype photographs and the dark paintings of Zurbarán and Goya,” the artist imbues these scenes of frolic and frenzy with an ethereal glow. Dingle’s usual protagonists—the fat white frocked everygirls—previously gripped by a mindless and inexplicable violence against nature and each other, are now suddenly consumed by the urgency, drama and brutal stress of Fine Dining.

Born in 1951 in Pomona, CA, Dingle lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited extensively and she has had several solo exhibitions including shows at the Otis Gallery, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles (1995-1996), The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1996) and the Bell Gallery at Brown University (2000). Dingle was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial and her work appeared in a major group exhibition entitled "Sunshine and Noir: Art in L. A., 1960–1997," which traveled to several major institutions in Europe. Museums that own her work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Orange County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Kim Dingle
Studies for the Last Supper at Fatty’s Cafe