Francesco Arena was born in Torre Santa Susanna, Brindisi, in 1978. He lives and works in Cassano delle Murge, Bari. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Lecce and was a fellow of the Corso Superiore di Arte Visiva at the Ratti Foundation, Como (2005); Villa Arson, Nice (2010) and ISCP, New York (2013). To create his works he starts from the history, in particular from the political and social facts that characterised the recent past. Episodes, too many times hidden or hushed up, that in the works by Francesco Arena gain a new life thanks to the synthetic and metaphorical forms of his sculptures.
His work has been exhibited internationally. Solo exhibitions include: Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Roma (2023): U BASE / Progetti per l'arte, Firenze (2020); Posatoi, Olnick Spanu Art Program, Garrison, NY (2014); Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2013); Museion, Bolzano (2012); PeepHole, Milano (2011); De Vleeshal, Middelburg NL (2010).
Group exhibitions include: Galleria delle Prigioni – Fondazione Imago Mundi, Treviso (2023); Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok ; Maxxi L’Aquila; Villa Arson, Nice (2023); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museo Madre, Napoli (2021); Center for Contemporary Art – Plovdiv; Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Manila, Filippine (2020); Uber Mauer, BAM, Convento della Maggione, Palermo; Works from Colecao Teixera de Freitas, Sala de Arte Santander, Madrid (2019); Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen; PYFF, Ping Yao, Shanxi, China; Caixa Forum, Barcelona (2018); Frac Franche-Comté, Besancon; La Capela, Barcellona (2017); Baijia Lake Museum, Nanjing (2016); Triennale, Milano; Kunst in dorpen, Mullem; Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze (2015); Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli; Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brasil (2014); Italian Pavilon, 55 Biennale di Venezia, Venezia (2013); Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (2012).