Peter Shire Memphis Milano Brazil Table in Lacquered Wood, Italy c. 1981


Peter Shire (b. 1947)

An exceptionally imaginative and dynamic architectural console, dining table, and desk by Peter Shire for Ettore Sottsass’ Memphis Group. A striking interplay of geometric forms in lacquered wood, this asymmetric, multi-purpose piece features an elongated triangular top in sunflower yellow. It’s raised on an emerald green shark-fin leg that slices the air with brio, offset by a sharp black isosceles base in a rounded salmon-pink foot that recalls a halved log of spam.

A founding member of the Memphis Group alongside Ettore Sottsass and Marco Zanini — and, with Sottsass, the movement’s best-known talent — Shire creates a dialogue between form and surface in boundary-stretching works that live at the intersection of art and design. His rejection of modernist rigidity and playful subversion of Bauhaus, Art Deco, and Futurist modalities in a visually unexpected new language make him an essential contributor to the postmodern critical debate.

Literature: Memphis: Furniture Milano, manufacturer’s catalogue, 1981. Memphis: Research, Experiences, Failures and Successes of New Design, Barbara Radice, p. 58.

  • Origin: Italy
  • Period: c.1981
  • Dimensions: 80" W x 31 1/4 D x 28 1/4 H
  • Materials: Lacquered wood
  • Condition: Very good; wear consistent with age and use.