Henry Miller Fine Art is delighted to present Leopardi’s Dream, an exhibition of engravings by the late Francis West. Curated by Henry Miller and Jenny West, Leopardi’s Dream features brand new editions of engravings from 1979 and 1999, some of which have never been seen in public before, alongside original drawings and paintings.
Difficult to categorise in any particular style or movement, Francis West’s 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 West’s 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.
Francis West (1936-2015) was born in Fraserburgh, a fishing community on the Moray Firth, where he spent his formative years. After National Service, he moved to London to study at the Chelsea School of Art (1957-1959) and mounted his first solo show in 1973, at the Hamet Gallery on Cork Street.
He has left an extraordinary body of work, and his work is included in many public collections, including the British Museum, Pallant House Gallery, the Arts Council and the V&A as well as numerous private collections.