Henry Miller Fine Art presents ‘Leopardi’s Dream: The Engravings of Francis West (1936-2015)’
Francis West was born in 1936 in Fraserburgh, a fishing community on the Moray Firth in Scotland, where he spent his formative years. Moving to London, after his National Service mostly spent in Malaysia, he studied at the Chelsea School of Art between 1957 and 1959. Francis’ grandfather, a fisherman and a Sunday painter, thought that art as a profession was no work for a man and his father, also a fisherman was of like mind but unable to influence Francis otherwise.
Difficult to categorise in any particular style or movement, his work is steeped in the knowledge of the great traditions of figurative art. An extraordinary draftsman, whether painting, drawing or, as here, engraving, his work exudes an inimitable style of its own, full of wondrous people, mythical creatures and performing animals.
Francis’ career spanned over 40 years, from his first solo show in 1973, to his final collection of paintings, exhibited posthumously in 2016 by the Megan Piper Gallery; some of which were completed just before his untimely death in December 2015. He leaves an extraordinary body of work, which is a testament to his sustained daily commitment to drawing and painting.
His work is included in public collections, including the British Museum, Pallant House Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as numerous private collections.
Henry Miller Fine Art is a gallery based in Walthamstow, East London, whose general collection showcases a curated collection of works focusing on the male form