Home Artists Francesco Arena


Francesco Arena

United States

1 Works exhibited on Kooness

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Works by Francesco Arena

Storia Naturale (metro cubo e perla)



100 x 100 x 100cm

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Numbers that take shape. If you wanted to compress a large part of Francesco Arena's work into a simple and straightforward formula, you could certainly use this one. Because if it is true that from a linguistic point of view his work can be read as a development, a personal "drift" of sculptural processes that start from the geometric forms typical of Minimal art and from the more archetypal ones of Arte Povera - the whose abstract and impersonal key is mixed with the lived experience, the narration of historical or private facts - it is equally true that from a thematic point of view, his works are often the translation of formulas and numbers linked to those facts or stories from which it part.

The artist's research often moves along two tracks - that of collective history, in particular national, and that of personal history - which form two lines that touch, overlap and cross. In his performances, installations and sculptures, the “in-form” chronicle objects, be they everyday objects - diaries, cigars, living room furniture - or made with traditional materials of sculpture (marble, slate, bronze).

Arena always imposes a rule to follow at the beginning, a fact that remains a fixed point in the production process of the work: the weight of a boat used by illegal immigrants who land on the coast of Lampedusa, the distance traveled by the anarchist Pinelli on his last day as a free man in Milan, the volume of a ditch generated by the explosion of a bomb. These are the starting points that determine the shape, the dimensions and sometimes even the materials of the work: “The datum is the wild place where the different gazes face and oppose each other; the datum interests me as a unit of measurement on which to build the sculpture ... a weight, a distance, a surface or a phrase inform the work and determine its shape or size. The data is there, available for interpretation despite its fixity, 

The data chosen by Arena often comes from the reservoir of personal history, but also of collective memory which at first concentrated above all on Italy and has now opened up to global situations and events.