Our colour experts are proud participants in local design organisations all over the world, including Los Angeles’ iconic La Cienega Design Quarter. But while the quarter has long been our home in LA, this May marks a very special milestone for us: our first opportunity to celebrate its annual LEGENDS event in our beautiful new flagship showroom.
To mark this year’s LEGENDS, we’re collaborating with native Angelenos Furth Yashar & and Peter Shire on an installation at our new LA showroom. What better way to celebrate colour, the decorative arts, and the creative minds of Los Angeles?
Peter Shire: Good Taste showcases a selection of work by the legendary Los Angeles artist, presented by Oliver M. Furth and Sean Yashar of experimental pop-up gallery Furth Yashar &. A special exhibition exclusively curated for LEGENDS 2019, it celebrates Shire’s work blurring the boundaries between the decorative and fine arts.
A lifelong inhabitant of Echo Park, graduate of the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute and, in the words of our own Head of Creative, “the ultimate icon of colour”, Shire gained acclaim as a founding member of the postmodern Memphis collective in the early 1980s.
How did you choose to work with both Peter Shire and Farrow & Ball for this exhibition?
Peter has been my friend for about a decade. Before we knew each other and had the opportunity to collaborate, I was a great fan of his earlier work. I've long admired his confident, bold palette and the graphic forms he utilises, not to mention the infectious optimism that he imbues into his work. His pieces - whether a bowl, a chair, a sculpture, or his own home- are fun to be around, and I imagine fun to create. This sense of fun, paired with Peter's desire to experiment and test the limits of materiality and shape are a great influence to me. We were excited to work with Peter on this show, and it seemed fitting to partner with Farrow & Ball, whose paints I use often, and who are known for their own wonderful palette.
What inspired the scenography and how did you choose which pieces would end up in the show?
We worked closely with Peter and his team in setting up this show. Peter's oeuvre is so vast, and we wanted to give a true cross-section of pieces in different mediums, and scale, and eras to showcase his breadth. We have pieces from the 80s, 90s, early 2000s, and some recent contemporary work. There are ceramic mugs from his EXP Pottery collection, and an iconic teapot from 1982. We're showing a very rare 'Rocket' bookshelf from 1986, and also a fabulous 'Cairo' armchair from 2018, which is the latest iteration from his series of 'Bel Air' chairs -the original is probably the most important work of American Post Modern Design in existence.
What do you want attendees of the exhibit to feel/experience when they enter the space?
We wanted to give a taste of Peter's Echo Park studio. With our FURTH YASHAR & shows, we definitely play against the basic "white box" gallery aesthetic. I like to give the audience something more immersive and experiential. In this show, you're getting to see Peter's actual potter's wheel, tools, pens, paints and brushes, notes, dirty drop cloths, and loads of ephemera from his studio. These items give great context and narrative to the pieces, and I think will flavour the experience. Aside from visiting Peter's actual studio, this is the next best thing!
What was your experience of working with Farrow & Ball colours like, for this exhibition and more generally in your design practice? How do the palettes differ from what you’re normally drawn to?
I'm a big fan of Farrow & Ball, as I use the colours regularly in my design practice. For this exhibition, the colours that Peter uses in his art are so highly saturated, that we had a bit of a challenge finding hues that could hold up to the art. I ended up using stronger colours than I normally would. We selected Arsenic for the floor, which is a beautiful bright green. This shade is very "hot", and looks super bright normally. But in this show, against the very bright colours in Peter's work, the colour neutralises, and works beautifully!
Today, Peter Shire continues to produce multi-disciplinary, multi-media work that delights in defying categorisation. Visitors to the quarter for LEGENDS 2019 will be able to see a cross-section of these works for themselves at Good Taste – just step into the Farrow & Ball showroom at 741 North La Cienega Boulevard between 7th and 11th May.