press release

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Peter Shire: The Los Angeles Connection to Memphis, a rotation on view in conjunction with the Ettore Sottsass exhibition.

Peter Shire (b. 1947), the Los Angeles sculptor and ceramist, came to the attention of Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis design collaborative through his progressive teapot designs from the mid-1970s. Such works as his Mexican Bauhaus teapot (1980) poke fun at the functionalist heritage of modernist design while referencing Southern California’s rich cultural landscape.

Shire contributed designs to Memphis’s annual collections until 1987. He was born and raised in Echo Park, where he currently maintains a studio and operates Echo Park Pottery. In addition to ceramics, Shire works in steel, his preferred medium for furniture, sculpture, and outdoor installations. He sometimes incorporates into his work symbols of beach and car culture, such as the surfboard fin motif and automobile body paint, which gives his pieces a distinctly California flavor.


Peter Shire: The Los Angeles Connection to Memphis