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Cats Named Sam IV 51

Cats Named Sam IV 51
Unsigned Print

Andy Warhol

Lithograph, 1954
Unsigned Print Edition of 190
H 23cm x W 14cm

Critical Review

Cats Named Sam IV 51 is part of the Cats Named Sam series, which emerged from a children's book Warhol published in 1954 called 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy. Warhol accompanied the book with 16 lithographs which all feature his mother’s beautiful calligraphy. While the original book is extremely rare, the prints have survived and are some of the earliest works by Warhol on the market today.

The prints in this series are more personal than those traditionally associated with Warhol depicting celebrities and icons of popular culture. The inspiration for Cats Named Sam came directly from Warhol’s experience living with his mother in the 1950s. After discovering that Warhol was completely broke, the artist’s mother, Julia, moved to New York in 1952 to support him. The two lived together in an apartment on East 57th Street in New York, accompanied by Julia’s 25 cats, who were all called Sam. Cats Named Sam IV 51 therefore captures the development of Warhol’s career and his transition from a struggling freelance commercial and children’s book illustrator to a Pop artist and cultural icon.

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