Peter Shire b. 1947

Peter Shire is a celebrated artist, working most notably in ceramics (and teapots, in particular), who first rose to prominence as part of the influential and radical Memphis design group. His diverse and lively body of work is a culmination of his west coast-sensibilities (he is a fourth generation Californian), a blurring craft and art, and a postmodern approach to color and form.

Shire was born in Los Angeles in 1947 and developed an early passion for craft, as his father was an illustrator and carpenter. He graduated from the influential Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles (now known as CalArts) in 1970. He came of age during a particularly rich period in California design—ceramicists such as Peter Voulkos, Gertrude and Otto Natzler and Ken Price elevated the medium in the 1950s and 1960s and the Pattern and Design movement of the 1970s emphasized surface pattern, kitsch and craft, challenging traditional notions of taste.

Upon seeing Shire’s colorful and anthropomorphic teapots in WET magazine in 1977, Ettore Sottsass invited the young designer to be part of Memphis, a radical design group that suited Shire’s irreverent and playful attitude. While part of Memphis, he created some of the movement’s most iconic designs, including the Bel Air Chair and the Brazil table. After Memphis dissolved in the late 1980s, Shire expanded his artistic output to include glass works, fashion, interior design, and toys. Of particular note are the public mural and sculptures he creates in Los Angeles, a city he has committed himself to and provides him with endless inspiration.

In 2017, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson presented Peter Shire: Naked Is the Best Disguise, a survey of his creative production. Shires’s work is held in such prestigious collections as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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Auction Results Peter Shire

PETER SHIRE, Bel Air chair | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Bel Air chair

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $11,250
PETER SHIRE, Big Sur sofa | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Big Sur sofa

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $11,250
PETER SHIRE, Eight Rod Float Table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Eight Rod Float Table

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,400
PETER SHIRE, custom nightstands, pair | wright20.com

Peter Shire

custom nightstands, pair

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,313
PETER SHIRE, teapots, set of five | wright20.com

Peter Shire

teapots, set of five

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,375
PETER SHIRE, Skyhook | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Skyhook

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,375
PETER SHIRE, teapot | wright20.com

Peter Shire

teapot

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $4,130
PETER SHIRE, Cahuenga floor lamp | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Cahuenga floor lamp

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $4,063
PETER SHIRE, Peter bookcase | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Peter bookcase

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,063
PETER SHIRE, Brazil table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Brazil table

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,063
PETER SHIRE, Hollywood occasional table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Hollywood occasional table

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $3,750
PETER SHIRE, Brazillia table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Brazillia table

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $3,640
PETER SHIRE, tea set | wright20.com

Peter Shire

tea set

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,500
PETER SHIRE, Secret Springs dining table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Secret Springs dining table

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,500
PETER SHIRE, Eight Rod Float Table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Eight Rod Float Table

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,375
PETER SHIRE, Doghedge teapot from the Mexican Bauhaus series | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Doghedge teapot from the Mexican Bauhaus series

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $3,250
PETER SHIRE, Tall Rebar teapot | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Tall Rebar teapot

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,250
PETER SHIRE, collection of four teapots | wright20.com

Peter Shire

collection of four teapots

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,000
PETER SHIRE, dining table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

dining table

estimate: $1,500–2,500
result: $2,950
PETER SHIRE, coffee table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

coffee table

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $2,760
PETER SHIRE, untitled | wright20.com

Peter Shire

untitled

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $2,550
PETER SHIRE, Mexican Bauhaus Marbelized teapot | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Mexican Bauhaus Marbelized teapot

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $2,375
PETER SHIRE, Elyssian Heights floor lamp | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Elyssian Heights floor lamp

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $1,913
PETER SHIRE, Peninsula table | wright20.com

Peter Shire

Peninsula table

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $1,875