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).
His work has been exhibited internationally. Solo exhibitions include: MAXXI L’Aquila (2022); BASE / Progetti per l’arte, Firenze (2020); Palazzo Baronale, Novoli, Lecce (2015); OSAP Olnick Spanu Art Programme, Hudson Valley (2014); Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2013); Museion, Bolzano (2012); Peep Hole, Milan (2011); Fondazione Ermanno Casoli, Fabriano (2010), Nomas Foundation, Rome (2008).
In 2022 he partecipated at Bangkok Art Biennale.
Group exhibitions include: Palazzo Carignano, Turin, Italy (2021); Palazzo Barbò, Torre Palavicina, Italy (2021); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2021); Metropolitan Museum of Manila (2020); Manifest 13 Marseille (2020); Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo, Palermo (2019); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2018); Sculpture Projects Ping Yao, Pingyao (2018); MAXXI, Rome (2017); Mario Merz Prize, Fondazione Mario Merz, Turin (2017); La Capella, Barcelona (2016); Par tibi, Roma, nihil, Area archeologica del Palatino, Rome (2016); The 3rd Nanjing International Art Festival, Baijia Lake Museum, Nanjing (2016); Triennale di Milano (2015 and 2007); Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (2015); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2015, 2014 and 2012); Italian Pavilion, 55 Biennale di Venezia (2013); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012); GAMEC, Bergamo (2011); Premio Furla, Palazzo Pepoli, Bologna (2011); Nomas Foundation and IMF Foundation, Rome (2010); Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2010); Kunsthalle Mulhouse (2010).