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Artist John Pirman: Summerhouse Poster for SarasotaMOD Unveiled

The artist has created an original work depicting the Summerhouse Restaurant, designed by this year’s SarasotaMOD honoree, architect Carl Abbott FAIA.

Presented by Sarasota Architectural Foundation September 28, 2020


The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) has again commissioned artist John Pirman to create the official illustration for its seventh annual SarasotaMOD Weekend, Nov. 6–8. Pirman has been tapped to provide an iconic image for SarasotaMOD each year since 2014. In honor of this year’s festival, Pirman, a Sarasota resident since 2008, has created an original artwork depicting Siesta Key’s Summerhouse Restaurant, which was designed in 1975 by this year’s SarasotaMOD honoree, architect Carl Abbott FAIA. In addition to appearing on SarasotaMOD promotional materials, Pirman’s piece has been reproduced on posters and greeting cards, which will be among the merchandise available for purchase at SAF’s MOD Shop during the three-day festival.

Carl Abbott (left) and John Pirman

“The brilliant Carl Abbott–designed Summerhouse Restaurant (1975)—with all its glass, vast ceilings, and tropical environment—is a famous example of Carl’s work showcasing all the modernist aspects of the Sarasota School of Architecture,” Pirman said.

Pirman, who once studied under Modernist master Paul Rand in Brissago, Switzerland, graduated with a BFA from Kent State University with an interest in the Swiss Style and pop culture. His 33-year career as a freelance illustrator in New York included editorial contributions to Fortune, Vogue, Glamour, New York Magazine, Cosmo, Forbes, The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Museum of Modern Art gift shop has been selling his holiday gift cards for more than 15 years. Pirman also contributed to the 2013 rebranding of The Ringling Museum of Art.

“My appreciation for Sarasota’s architecture is one of the reasons I moved here after living in New York City for 33 years,” said Pirman, whose first Sarasota home was a 1948 Lamolithic house designed by Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell. “The geometry, form, and innovative building designs of the Sarasota School of Architecture became an inspiration to study the relationship of shapes to shadows.”

SarasotaMOD Weekend is known for letting visitors immerse themselves in the architecture of the Sarasota School movement. This year, MOD will feature a novel array of tour options, including walking, driving and, new this year, kayaking. Visit www.sarasotamod.com for more information and to purchase tickets, which go on sale Sept. 28.

“When you subtract details from an image, you give it a kind of symbolic power,” said Pirman. “My designs are very architectural because they are based on geometry. For me, it’s about evoking a feeling more than representing a particular image.”

About Sarasota Architectural Foundation

The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that educates, advocates and celebrates the Sarasota School of Architecture movement. For more information, visit www.saf-srq.org.


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