Peres Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition by American artist Peter Shire, member of both the California ceramists associated with Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles and the Memphis Group of Milan. On view are a series of seminal ceramic works, whose vibrant geometric sculptures challenge notions of form versus function, evading clearly defined labels of craft, fine art, and design.
For nearly four decades, Shire has worked with clay as a medium, pushing the boundaries and connotations of the material. Shire’s colorful assemblages often take on the familiar forms of teaware, a focus of his practice since the 1970s. Selecting these objects as cultural signifiers and for their human scale, Shire challenges the perceptions of both consumer products and ceramic art in the context of postmodern dialogues.
For this exhibition, Shire presents two new bodies of work, Fists and Jeroboam. Each work takes its title from the many areas and boroughs in around and Los Angeles, where Shire has spent his life. The works from Jeroboam maintain a delicacy despite their monumental volume, vibrancy, and scale, while, intermingled among them, Fists exist as miniature landscapes. These bold works are like microcosms of cityscapes or models for large scale works, and also subtly abstract fundamental elements of cups: handle and vessel.
Working with bold stripes and asymmetrical forms, Shire’s sculptures are surreal collages of both color and geometry, all signature elements of the Memphis Group, of which Shire is an original member. Creating a sense of movement throughout each self-contained piece, Shire references twentieth century art, including Bauhaus, Futurism, Art Deco, and Deutsche Werkbund among others.
Peter Shire (b. 1947) is a Los Angeles-based artist. His work can be found in over thirty-five museums across the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Israel Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. He has completed over twenty-five public art works including the North Hollywood Gateway, The Ahmanson Music Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and many more.
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