Marco Sassone


Marco Sassone (b. 1942) was born in Florence, Italy. At an early age, he met the painters Ottone Rosai and Ugo Maturo, who encouraged him to follow his interest in art. In 1959 he enrolled at the Istituto Galileo Galilei, where he studied architectural drafting for several years.

In 1963 he studied with painter Silvio Loffredo, a professor of art at the Accademia in Florence, himself a pupil of the Austrian master Oskar Kokoschka.

He arrived in New York City in 1967 and later settled in California. It was there, in 1968, that Sassone opened his first studio in Belmont Shore and began to paint boats and water in the manner of the Macchiaioli painters. He exhibited for the first time in the United States at the Dalzell-Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles.

Throughout the seventies, he exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad and returned to Florence in 1973 for a one man show at Galleria d’Arte Internazionale.

In 1976 he collaborated with director John Wilson to produce an autobiographical documentary. He received a gold medal in 1978 from the Italian Academy of Arts, Literature and Science. In 1979 the monograph Sassone by art historian Donelson Hoopes was published in concurrence with the artist’s exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum.

In 1981 Sassone moved his studio to San Francisco. During the 80’s his exhibition schedule continued along with his numerous lectures. In 1982 Marco Sassone was knighted by the president of Italy, Sandro Pertini, into the “Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic”. In March 1988, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley inaugurated the exhibition, Marco Sassone, at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. The same year Sassone exhibited at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris.

By the late eighties, Sassone had become increasingly concerned with social themes. He began extensive – and personal – research on the homeless and painted a series of large canvasses and charcoal drawings portraying the life he observed on the streets. A number of these works were exhibited at the Chicago International Art Exposition, the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland, the Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as in the exhibition Body Politic at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

In March of 1994, Home on the Streets opened at the Museo ItaloAmericano in San Francisco, later traveling to Los Angeles in 1996 and Florence, Italy in 1997, where the exhibition was mounted in the Cloisters of the Santa Croce Church. “The persistent theme does not carry a denunciation of a social problem, but it is rather the pretext to pour forth onto canvas the urgency of the brush strokes.” Paola Bortolotti, art critic, La Nazione.

The Palazzo Ducale Museum in Massa-Carrara, Italy presented his retrospective exhibition in March-April, 2002 with the publication of a catalogue written by Massimo Bertozzi. The following year, Sassone was invited to exhibit his work at the Cloister of Sant’Agostino, Pietrasanta in “Master and Pupil” with works by Silvio Loffredo and Oskar Kokoschka.

In 2005, after 35 years of residence in the United States, Marco Sassone relocated his studio to Toronto, Canada. In 2008 he received a commission to create a mural for the lobby of the Bellagio tower in downtown Toronto.

Sassone’s ouvre encompasses paintings, ceramics, installations and an array of works on paper such as drawings, watercolors, pastels and silkscreens.

In recent years, Marco Sassone’s exhibitions have included David Findlay Jr. Fine Art, New York (2010): Shrine of Saint Francis, San Francisco (2010): Santuario at Palazzo dell’Informazione, Rome (2010); Architecture and Nature at Price Tower Art Center, Oklahoma (2012); Oil and Water at San Angelo Museum, Texas (2014); Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California (2016); His Boots and Other Works at Bata Museum, Toronto (2016); and Viaticus at Berenson Fine Art, Toronto (2017).