Five renowned Italian artists will have their work showcased: Gianfranco Antoni, Giulio Da Vicchio, Rodolfo Marma, Guido Borgianni, and Gianfranco Frezzolini. These Tuscan masters distinguished themselves from the postwar period of the late 1940s up until the 1980s. The six Italian-Canadian artists presented are Tony Bianco, Bruno Capolongo, Lorenzo Fracchetti, Silvio Mastrodascio, Sam Paonessa, and Giuseppe Pivetta, with art highlighting the nature of our multicultural society.

Featured Italian Artists

Guido Borgianni (New York, 1915 – Florence, 2011)

Borgianni studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. His passion for painting led him to travel extensively throughout Italy, France and Spain. In 1952, he was appointed to the Accademia delle Arte del Disegno of Florence. Many of his works are found in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, in the collection of self-portraits in the Vasari corridor, and in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, as well as in numerous private collections.

Rodolfo Marma (Florence, 1923 – 1998)

Marma studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and also attended the studio of Emmanuele Cavalli. He participated in numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, especially in the United States, France and Germany. He received several awards and recognitions, including the Premio Vallombrosa in 1971. His works are part of public and private collections in Europe and the United States, including the White House in Washington, D.C.

Giulio Da Vicchio (Florence, 1925 – 1997)

Da Vicchio was the son of master painter Ferruccio Rontini. Born Giulio Rontini, he later changed his name to Da Vicchio (after the town of his birth) so he would not interfere with his father’s legacy. He is famous for painting many splendid landscapes of Tuscany and Sicily, and after moving to Sicily, he focused mainly on depicting fishermen and market scenes.

Gianfranco Antoni (Florence, 1925 – 1992)

Antoni lived and worked in Florence his entire life. He was known for painting with a free-spirited style that made him famous throughout Italy. The key subjects of his work were the landscapes of Tuscany and the everyday activities of the people around him. His art can be found in public and private collections throughout Italy.

Gianfranco Frezzolini (Florence, 1929 – 1994)

Frezzolini became enamoured with the Florentine and Tuscan artistic world from a young age. While he remained loyal to its traditions, he also developed his own personal style, which garnered him admiration as a landscape artist. He held several exhibitions in Tuscany and throughout Italy, France, Switzerland, Denmark, and the United States. Today, his paintings are part of public and private collections in Italy and abroad.

Featured Italian-Canadian Artists

Bruno Capolongo

Capolongo has spent most of his adult life travelling to Italy, most notably Rome, to study art. His work is amassed by private and corporate collectors alike, and has been featured in over 125 exhibitions. In addition to being the recipient of numerous awards and honours, Capolongo has won the internationally coveted Greenshields Prize three times. He has also won consecutive first place awards for the national Canadian exhibition and competition Evidence of Things Unseen.

Silvio Mastrodascio

Mastrodascio has been active in the fields of painting and sculpture for over 30 years. His art combines classical and contemp orary elements, and is characterized by simplicity of expression. Mastrodascio’s work is best described by leading art historian, Maurizio Calvesi: “Using a technique that re veals craftsmanship perfected over time, they reach out to us as if they were alive. A trait typical of an ar tist who looks into the soul of the persons por trayed to define their characteristics and mirror their emotional state.”

Giuseppe Pivetta

Pivetta was born in Villenouvelle, France, to Italian parents in 1938. He began his artistic training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Toulouse. His work is found in many private and corporate collections throughout Canada. Pivetta has taught painting workshops for numerous organizations, including the Toronto Separate School Board. His work has been exhibited since 1972, most notably at La Parete Gallery, Hart House, Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Sam Paonessa

Paonessa’s career began in Toronto as a junior layout artist followed by work as an illustrator at Hallmark Canada. For 30 years, he has created over 500 images for greeting cards and various retail products. Over the past several years, Paonessa has also been sharing his talent by conducting demonstrations and teaching oil painting workshops across the GTA. His pursuit of excellence has garnered the attention of both corporate and private collectors across North America.

Lorenzo Fracchetti

After studying art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, and artistic design in Switzerland, Fracchetti came to Canada in 1967. Working as a book illutrator in Canada’s Arctic, Fracchetti became captivated by the natural beauty of its landscapes, people and wildlife. The Arctic has since become a major subject of his work. Fracchetti has held exhibitions in Italy, Switzerland, the United States and Canada. His works are collected by major corporations, as well as by astute private collectors around the world.

Tony Bianco

Early in his career, Bianco began experimenting with plein-air painting (working directly from the subject, on location). This led to a life-long study of working from life, in the landscape, throughout all seasons. His series of pieces depicting Canada’s national parks is his most renowned work. It comprises over 120 paintings, and is entitled “A Portrait of Canada”. It has exhibited in a number of museums and galleries across Canada. Bianco was chosen by the Royal Canadian Mint to design the millennium two-dollar coin. He has since designed a number of coins for the Mint.

written by David DeMarco