Francesco Arena

FRANCESCO ARENA

In his works the artist outlines a double register: one is the attempt to give continuity to the memory of moments in history, the other is the recovery of formal elements that are part of a historical dimension of art.


FRANCESCO ARENA

Barra (Gli Alti e i Bassi),
detail, 2015
Bronze, cigars, sugar sachets
cm 187 x 1000 x 4
Courtesy the artist
Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano and NoguerasBlanchard Gallery, Madrid-Barcellona
© Francesco Arena

The nature of sculpture often raises the question of memory, turning the work into a monument that carries a further symbolic value, based on historical, social or personal elements which typify a specific period. It is an aspect found in the works of Francesco Arena,which stand out for the elegant balance between collective history andits translation into a personal dimension. References to his biography are often part of the framework on which the artist’s exploration is founded. These coordinates allow the combination of a precise historical context with a specific perspective on the world and the physical identityof the artist himself. The individual and the collective, personal pastand history are merged together to create a single dimension in which concentration, geometry and solidness become the pillars of a historical and personal metaphorical dimension. The transformation into art of the self-history of the person who interprets the world through his/her physical and existential condition become a central element in there construction of a future thought. It is here that one of the central elements that characterize the monumental dynamic intrinsic to theartist’s exploration finds an expression. The analysis of the past, the present and the translation of these dimensions into specific materials –bronze, stone, steel or marble are the materials that indicate a direction that is developed in a future temporal space, defining the conditionsof a supposed memory. Transforming the collective and personalidentity of a historical period through time is one of the main actions implemented by art. This is also evident in the artistic research of Arena, which solidifies into abstract, geometric and antiform forms historical definitions related to the experience of past generations. In his works the artist outlines a double register: one is the attempt to give continuity to the memory of moments in history, the other is the recovery of formal elements that are part of a historical dimension of art. The movements of the second avant-gardes are often revisited in his work through new perspectives.

Francesco Arena was born in 1978 in Torre Santa Susanna, Brindisi, Italy. He lives and works in Cassano delle Murge, Bari, Italy. Among his solo exhibitions are: 3 Ludwigreflections and 1 horizon, NoguerasBlanchard, Madrid (2014); Onze mille cent quatre-vingt sept jours, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2013); Orizzonte con riduzione di mare, Monitor, Rome (2012); Com’è piccola Milano, Peep-Hole, Milan (2011). He participated in several group shows, including: vice versa, Padiglione Italia, 55. Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); La storia che non ho vissuto. Testimone indiretto, Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli (2012); Sotto la strada la spiaggia, Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo, Turin (2012); Pleure qui peu ritqui veut – Premio Furla 2011, Palazzo Pepoli,Bologna (2011).

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