Francesca Leone was born in Rome from a family of artists. She graduates from the Rome University of Fine Arts, under the guidance of the Professor Lino Tardia. She begins her exhibition itinerary in the year 2007, taking part in the exhibition, curated by Claudio Strinati for the High Commission for Refugees of the United Nations, at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Her opening exhibition takes place at the Loggiato di San Bartolomeo in Palermo in April 2008. With Bonalumi, Gallo, Guccione and Mitoraj she realizes an artwork for the exhibition “Galilei Divin Uomo”, opened in December 2008 at The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs of Rome, under the initiative of the World Federation of Scientists, ended after more than four years, in 2013, after several exhibitions all over the world. In late 2008, the Palazzo Venezia in Rome dedicates to Francesca Leone a solo exhibition, entitled ‘’Primo Piano’’, assisted by Strinati, once again. In November 2008, she takes part in the exhibition “Omaggio a de Chirico”, in the “de Chirico Foundation” in Rome, which will continue in the United States with exhibitions in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. In March 2009, the City of Naples invites her to exhibit her works in Castel dell’Ovo. In June, she realizes and exposes the portrait of Ennio Morricone, to which the American Academy in Rome gives the “Mc Kim 2009” award. In October 2009, she takes part, with a portrait dedicated to the father, in the exhibition “Sergio Leone, uno sguardo inedito ” at the International Film Festival of Italy with scenic designs by the Oscar winner prize, Dante Ferretti.
In late June, she is invited to exhibit a large part of her paintings in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MOMA), in Moscow; during the exhibition, assisted by Maurizio Calvesi, Francesca Leone is appointed as Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
In March 2010, the Gallery ‘’Valentina Moncada’’ dedicates to her a solo exhibition in Rome entitled “Flussi Immobili”. During the same period of time, she is invited to participate in the exhibition ” Arte Contemporanea per il Tempio di Zeus ” in the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
For the 54th anniversary of the Unification of Italy she has the commission to realize a painting of Giuseppe Garibaldi: the portrait is exhibited in the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, for the art exhibition entitled “Giuseppe Garibaldi … Tutt’altra Italia io sognavo ” and it is chosen as symbol of the exposition.
In 2011, Francesca Leone is invited to exhibit in LIV International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in the Pavilion Italia.
In 2012, she exhibits, in the Opera Gallery in London, which opens with a solo exhibition the new season after the end of the Olympics. In June 2012, she is one of the artists chosen for the dialogue between art and sport at the tennis Internazonali BNL Italia held in Rome, in the Foro Italico. In June 2012, in the Museums of San Salvatore in Lauro in Rome, for the exhibition entitled “Il Viaggio in Italia di Fëdor Dostoevskij” she creates a portrait of the famous Russian novelist.
In 2013 Francesca Leone is invited to take part in the LV International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in the Pavilion Cuba. The exhibition, entitled ” La Perversión de lo Clásico: anarquía de los relatos” assisted by José Fernández Torres and Giacomo Zaza, is a dialogue between seven Cuban artists and seven international artists. In March 2013, she takes part in the exhibition “Omaggio a Giuseppe Verdi” at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome on the occasion of the bicentenary of the composer’s birth.
Leone closes the year 2013 with thirty paintings in an exhibition held by Marco Tonelli, at the PAN (Palazzo delle Arti, Napoli), entitled “Corpo Terra”.
In 2014, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio curates a project of three museum exhibitions; Francesca becomes protagonist of MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Chile, of MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires, with two solo exhibitions entitled “Metamorphosis”, and of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, with the exhibition entitled “Myths and Metamorphosis”.
Later in 2014, she presents a solo exhibition “Cuerpo y Tierra” at AMS Marlborough Gallery in Santiago de Chile. Leone takes part in the exhibition “Freedom fighters” with a portrait dedicated to Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy at the Royal Palace of Turin. She also presents two portraits at the exhibition dedicated to the death of Sergio Leone, at the Museum of Cinema in Turin.
In February 2015, Francesca Leone realizes a solo in Singapore. In October, The Triennale in Milan hosted an installation art exhibition called “Our Trash”, a project composed of 18 aluminium gratings protected by a perspex showcase, on which spectators can walk. The project proposes a reflection on the issues surrounding the environment. Simultaneously, also in Milan, the ArcGallery gallery is presenting another 15 works from the series “Our Trash”.
In 2017, she was the protagonist of another grand installation exhibition at the Macro Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, where she presented “Garden”, a complex display that combines the works of “Our Trash” with three monumental creations made of concrete that are the result of Francesca’s continuous research centered on the topics of environmental awareness and memory. The exhibition was accompanied by the publication of 150 signed and numbered copies of a “book-work” with written text by Danilo Eccher. After being invited by the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity of Palermo, in June 2018 Francesca returned to the city after 10 years, with the exhibition “Monaci” curated by Danilo Eccher and hosted at the Real Albergo dei Poveri simultaneously with Biennale Manifesta 12. In that year, in fact, Palermo had been elected the Capital of Culture.
2018 was then closed with the large solo exhibition “Domus” at the Palacio de Gaviria in Madrid. Curated once again by Danilo Eccher, it enclosed Francesca’s career path of the previous three years. In 2020 she has presented the installation “Si può illuminare un cielo melmoso e nero?” in the Magazzino Art Gallery in Rome, where 21 painted recovered metal sheets tell “a story where the memory of painting emerges, where color’s emotion vibrates, where the art of Francesca Leone is recognized, capable of tarnishing a ‘darkness denser than pitch’”, as described by Danilo Eccher, curator of the exhibition.
In 2021, in Milan, at Sala delle Colonne in Gallerie d’Italia, the solo-exhibition “Ulteriori gradi di libertà nella città che resiste”, curated by Andrea Vilian in which the artist with a site-specific project, develops a “further” architecture, which does not deny reality, but does not resign herself to it.
In 2022 the collaboration with the curator Danilo Eccher resulted in “Take Your Time”, a collateral event to the 59th Venice Biennale presented by Nomas Foundation. The public is invited to move within an installation path modulated in five fluid spaces, to enter into a condition suspended between personal and public experience, between intimate and universal imaginary, between earthly and cosmic dimensions. Time takes on a value of aesthetic reflexivity necessary for the redefinition of the self and the meaning of one’s actions in relation to the world. Time as an instrument of knowledge, beyond an often absent and superficial everyday life.
In 2023 Francesca Leone is the artist identified by the Maxxi Museum in Rome on behalf of the Ministry of Culture to represent Italy at the Bihar Museum in Patna on the occasion of the G20 forum, in the Together We Art project (7 August – 7 October 2023), curated by Alka Pande. Francesca Leone presents the installation “A Rose is a Rose, It’s a Rose“. Three flowers of different sizes, made with metal sheets recovered in abandoned construction sites or abandoned buildings, reveal on the surface the signs of time: lacerations and rust that Leone treats with color as if they were scars on the skin. In this sick garden that preserves traces of an ancient beauty, it’s possible to glimpse the hope of salvation.
Francesca currently lives and works in Rome.