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Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing

Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing




* This title is on pre-sale. Ships Fall 2022.
** The first 300 customers will receive a signed poster with their order.

Hardcover (red cloth, stamped with gold foil)
with dust jacket (featuring hand-painted design by Peter Shire)
9 inches x 12 inches
22.86 cm. x 30.48 cm.
472 pages
Special edition of 1,000

Yours, Mine & Towers, Once Upon A Tower, The Height Report, Tower de Force, Erections. Peter Shire: Towers with Ranch Dressing looks at the ways in which towers have influenced Shire’s work, popping up again and again, in actual and in abstract forms.

Towers are omnipresent—they are a daily part of our lives, yet often we don’t see things that are right in front of us. For Shire, the tower has been a core symbol and allegorical emblem of his life and work in Los Angeles. Towers have become signifiers of nostalgia, joy, memory, and anxiety—snapshots of the way California was and is, and of how it continues to inspire.

Utilizing film stills, archival photography, and classic works of art in juxtaposition with his own work, this book explores Shire’s ongoing connection with towers, providing insight and giving us a greater understanding of one of the most undefinable and playfully subversive artists of our time.

Edited and designed by Peter Shire and Lisa Tchakmakian. 

With original essays and contributions from Andrew Berardini, Anna Katz, Bobby Klein, Jim Heimann, Aaron Rose, and Hans Ulrich Obrist and photography from Santi Caleca, Gerry Cappel, Scott GarrisonGary Leonard, William Nettles, William Reigh, Frank Rheinboldt, Alan Schaefer, Tim Street-Porter, and Joshua White.


Peter Shire (b. 1947, Los Angeles, CA)

Peter Shire is a Fine Artist, a Painter, a Sculptor, a Potter, a Craftsman, a Furniture Maker, and a Designer of Interiors and Fantasy Structures. He is simultaneously interested in creating functional objects and impossible objects. His work eludes all attempts at categorization and renders the traditional labels obsolete.

Shire was born in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he still lives and works. His work can be found throughout much of Los Angeles as Shire is imbued with the ethos of the city. A prime example being his installation “Angel’s Point,” which sits atop Elysian Park along the Chavez Ravine overlooking Dodger Stadium and Downtownencapsulating Los Angeles from a post-modern vantage point among the palm trees, smog, and other Los Angeles landmarks.

Shire studied at Chouinard Art Institute, now Cal Arts, in the 1960s, under Ralph Bacerra and Adrian Saxe, whose influence can be seen in the levels of whimsy and contemplation that play into Shire’s own practice. His interest in Pattern and Decoration, a movement from the 1970s and 80s, brought to his work an amalgamation of decorative and folk-art traditions. His interest in clay started early on and was grounded by predecessors like John Mason, Ken Price, Ron Nagle, and Peter Voulkos, who all liberated the medium from its practical applications.

In 1977, Ettore Sottsass spotted Shire’s work in the new-wave magazine WET and invited him to visit Milan. While in Italy, Shire became a founding member of MEMPHIS, the radical design collective. During this time, Shire’s very specific language found light and his practice became global.

Shire has a vast exhibition record, having shown his work throughout much of the world at such places as Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Jewish Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Gallery Saito, Japan; among others. His work can be found in museum collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedlijk Museum, the Netherlands; Total Contemporary Art Museum, South Korea; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom, among others.


By my next birthday, December 27, 2021, I will have been alive for 27,000 days. Presuming I knew how to tie my shoes by the time I was three, I've tied or buckled my shoes at least 25,000 times, more or less. So far, I have done:

Over 150 solo shows and over 300 group shows (some great, some really questionable).
I am in the collection of over 50 museums (some really prestigious, some you’ve never heard of).
• For the past 55 years, from the age of 16—when I made a deal with my high school ceramic teacher, Anthony Scaccia—I’ve worked on this thing we call ART for 40 hours a week minimum.

Some people say at my age it’s time to quit. I say, throw the dynamite because the fuse is lit.

Lisa Tchakmakian is an artist, producer, and creative director based in Los Angeles. She received her Master of Fine Arts from USC Roski School of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California, in 2003 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2001.