Marco Sassone Debuts "Toronto" Urban Landscape Exhibition at Odon Wagner Contemporary April 4-26, 2008

    Consul General of the United States Claudia Baker and Consul General of
    Italy Veronica Ferrucci to Attend

    Opening Night Reception April 3 at 6 p.m.

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - "Toronto", an exhibition of paintings and
drawings by painter Marco Sassone (, opens with a
reception Thursday, April 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Odon Wagner Contemporary
( in Toronto. The internationally renowned artist,
who moved to Toronto from San Francisco in 2005, depicts Toronto urban
landscapes and cityscapes from high-rise vantage points and street
perspectives in the series exhibiting through April 26.
    Special guests include Consul General of the United States Claudia Baker
and Consul General of Italy Veronica Ferrucci. The exhibit is open to the
public starting April 4. Those interested in receiving an invitation to the
opening night reception may contact Rafael Wagner at Odon Wagner Contemporary
at 416-962-0438. The gallery is located at 172 Davenport Road, Toronto,
Ontario, M5R 1J7 Canada.
    Previewing the collection for the exhibition catalogue, Jonathan Goodman,
art critic for Art in America, wrote, "The painter remains a visionary,
describing tall buildings and merging highways as he forges a rapport with
Toronto. Sassone is profoundly interested in rendering a nearly mythic
ambience, whose experience borders on the sublime."
    In his essay, Goodman also described Sassone's inspiration and connection
to his new-found hometown of Toronto. "Sassone remains someone deeply
connected not only to the craft of painting but as well to the felt quality of
experience, which is found in his landscapes as well as his empathetic
portraits of people. Sassone's concentration on his theme is borne out by the
passionate force of his compositions, which often includes the immediate
surroundings of the city he lives in. He is a painter for whom the primary
impulse is intuitive, driven by his desire to identify with the people and
views he paints."
    The urban cityscapes featured in the "Toronto" exhibit meld Sassone's
long-standing focus on landscapes and social themes. In November 1967, soon
after the flood devastated his city of Florence, Sassone traveled to the
United States and settled in California. By exhibiting extensively in the U.S.
and abroad he soon built an international reputation with his bold and vibrant
paintings of California and urban landscapes, capturing alternate feelings of
longing and belonging.
    After his move to San Francisco in the early 80s, his interest in social
themes intensified as he became acquainted with the poor and homeless living
in the streets. He painted a series of large canvasses and charcoal drawings
portraying the lives of those he felt had been crushed by life's injustices.
Many of these works were exhibited at top expositions and galleries around the
world and his exhibition "Home on the Streets" opened in 1994 in San Francisco
before traveling to Los Angeles and Florence.
    In describing his work, Sassone said, "From Italy to North America, the
journey continues, a journey that speaks affectionately of Florence,
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto. In each place I made a home and felt
unsettled, a feeling that motivates me to paint. And it is from this state of
longing and belonging in this last arrival that I created the 'Toronto'

    About Marco Sassone:

    Marco Sassone was born in Campi Bisenzio, a Tuscan village, in 1942 and
spent much of his youth and his early years as an artist in Florence.
Sassone's powerfully expressive gestural style is rooted in the tradition of
the 19th century Italian impressionists, "the Macchiaioli," and has developed
in the context of 20th century European and American Art. The most poignant
and enduring influences can be traced back to his studies in the 1960's with
painter Silvio Loffredo who was a student of the Austrian master
Oskar Kokoschka. The agitated brushstrokes and vibrant colours appealed to
Sassone, offering the artist a foundation that has remained throughout his
career. The first major retrospective of the artist's work appeared at the
Laguna Art Museum in 1979 in concurrence with the publication of "Sassone," a
monograph written by art historian Donelson Hoopes. In the years since, his
work has been presented in numerous exhibitions, including those at National
Academy of Design, New York; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Bernheim-Jeune
Gallery, Paris; Museo Italo-Americano, San Francisco; Cloisters of Santa
Croce, Florence; Chicago International Art Exposition and Basel Art Fair,
Switzerland. Among other distinguished honours and awards, Marco Sassone was
knighted into "the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic" by President
Sandro Pertini in 1982.

    About Odon Wagner Gallery and Odon Wagner Contemporary

    Established in 1969, Odon Wagner Gallery is Toronto's premier gallery for
historic art, specializing in 18th and 19th Century European paintings, as
well as in work by Modern Masters. The gallery, which has also shown
international contemporary work for more than 20 years, opened Odon Wagner
Contemporary in 2005. Both galleries are located in Toronto's Yorkville

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Karin Olsen, AMAZONpr, (310) 497-0052,

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