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Despina Stokou - Peter Shire 


August 8 - 16, 2015

Opening reception: Saturday, August 8, 6-9pm 


Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present an off-site exhibition in Los Angeles, featuring new work by Despina Stokou and Peter Shire.


Both Despina Stokou and Peter Shire utilize strategies and language from throughout the spectrum of taste. Each borrow freely from popular culture and art historical references and in doing so work to subvert expectations. In this exhibition, new paintings by Stokou, ambitious in scale and breadth, commingle with sculptures, furniture, ceramics and drawings by Shire.


Despina Stokou’s furiously energetic canvases layer text, collage, charcoal, and oil paint. These paintings react with immediacy to the breakneck speed of our daily information consumption while maintaining an inventive sensitivity to the history of expressive mark making. Her paintings incorporate sources as varied as html code, song lyrics, blog posts, classical music compositions, and most recently emojis. While these new emoji paintings are a slight departure from her earlier text based paintings, they continue a trajectory of exploring contemporary vernacular. Reacting to the information in her periphery through densely layered gestures, Stokou creates a new conversation about collapses of language as they relate to the history of abstraction today.


Peter Shire’s practice consistently crosses boundaries of craft, design, traditional and contemporary understandings of fine art.  A founding member of the Memphis, the notorious design and architecture collective based in Milan, he collaborated in each annual collection from 1981-88, contributing furniture, metal work, and ceramic sculptures. He has since continued to create work that refuses to pick sides in the fight between formal and functional. For this exhibition Shire has produced sculptures, drawings, a cabinet, and topsy turvey ceramic cups. Reflecting an on-going involvement in public work, Russian Utopianists: El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich and Jacques Tati. Modernist geometric abstraction combined with a populous working class sympathy, industrial materials, and the language of commerce in our time, creates a questioning of the values of the things around us.


In Auto-Correct both Stokou and Shire confront implied hierarchies head on. Each artists work with urgency towards a broader cultural context, one that reflects this duality; one where emojis, Constructivism, mass produced objects and expressionism, and even the continuum of fine art languages exist on a brightly colored, exuberantly level playing field.


Despina Stokou has recently been featured in exhibitions at Gagosian, Athens, Ibid, Los Angeles, Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, and Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna. Stokou has an upcoming solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART, Leipzig.


Peter Shire’s work is included in a number of public collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and The Seattle Museum of Art. His work has recently been featured in exhibitions at Koenig and Clinton, New York, The Institute for Italian Culture, Los Angeles, A + D Museum, Los Angeles and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York.


Auto-Correct will be on view at 2405 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031.


Exhibition hours:

Saturday, August 8, 11am-9pm

Sunday, August 9, 11am-6pm

Wednesday,  August 12, 11am-6pm

Thursday, August 13, 11am-6pm

Friday, August 14, 11am-6pm

Saturday, August 15, 11am-6pm

Sunday, August 16, 11am-6pm


For further information or images, please contact the gallery at 917.476.1986, 212 206 6411, or visit