Ho Chi Minh

WAG 1993.20


Sam Walsh was born in Enniscorthy in Ireland in 1934. He attended Dublin College of Art and in 1955 he moved to London. He spent five years drifting between jobs and playing the guitar professionally. He also produced portraits and murals and exhibited work at the ICA. In 1960 he visited Liverpool and stayed. In 1962, at the opening of their joint exhibition at London's influential Portal Gallery, Walsh and his fellow Liverpool artist Adrian Henri were introduced to Francis Bacon by the musician, painter and raconteur George Melly, who had just bought the first of several paintings by Walsh. This a drawing of the Vietnamese politician and revolutionary Ho Chi Minh (1890 - 1969). He was president of Vietnam from 1945 until his death. This covered the period of the Vietnam War although he did not live to see its outcome. Time named him in its list of 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century (1998). In the 1970s, Walsh made other portraits of political and cultural figures such as Che Guevara (1928 - 1967) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908 - 1986). This is possibly a study for an oil painting.