Peter Shire was born in 1947 in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works. A graduate of the famous Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Peter Shire has an impressive exhibition record.
In addition to many group shows, his sculpture, furniture and ceramics have been exhibited in numerous solo shows, in his hometown, Los Angeles, and in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and Sapporo. Shire’s works are in many public collections and museums in the U.S. and abroad.
Shire has been associated with the Memphis Group of designers, has worked on the Design Team for the XXIII Olympiad with the American Institute of Architects, and has designed public sculptures in Los Angeles and other California cities.
Rejecting the limitations imposed by specific fields and “proper” techniques, Shire has transgressed the orderliness of painting or sculpture traditionally defined as the “fine arts” and has included fields such as ceramics, furniture, and toys that have been consistently marginalized by the modernist discourse.
Shire does not reject the rich heritage of twentieth century art, and references to Bauhaus, Futurism, Art Nouveau or Art Deco are to be ground throughout his work. However, his art dismisses a facile linear trajectory and replaces nostalgic connotations with eclectic playfulness and subtle irony. One of the original members of the Milan-based Memphis group, Shire has challenged the rigidity of modernist vocabulary and has boldly articulated a novel languages defined by an unexpected visual dialogue between forms and surfaces and between technology and aesthetics.
It is precisely this aspect of his art that has established him as one of the essential contributors to the postmodern critical debate.
Shire has been honored by awards for his contribution to the cultural life of the City of Los Angeles.