This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Unsigned Print Edition of 190
H 23cm x W 14cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
Printed in 1954, Cats Named Sam IV 51 is an offset lithograph by Andy Warhol that encapsulates the beginning of Warhol’s career as a Pop artist. This print depicts a cat rendered in vibrant fuchsia pink sitting proudly against a plain backdrop. The cat's piercing orange eyes stare back playfully at the viewer of the print. To the right of the print, the cat’s name, Sam, is written in elegant calligraphy. The print features Warhol’s signature blotted line technique which came to mark much of the early work he made in the 1940s and 1950s.
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.