Printed in 1954, Cats Named Sam IV 61 is an offset lithograph by Andy Warhol that marks the beginning of his career as a Pop artist. This print depicts a large, round cat rendered in bold orange against a plain backdrop. The cat’s body consumes that majority of the composition with its name, Sam, written in elegant calligraphy at the bottom of the print.
Cats Named Sam IV 61 is one of 16 lithograph prints that compose the Cats Named Sam series, produced by Warhol in 1954 to accompany the children's book he published, 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy. These prints have come to mark a development in Warhol's career from a freelance commercial and children’s book illustrator to a Pop artist and cultural icon of the 20th century.
This print features Warhol’s blotted line technique which marks much of his early work, especially his freelance commercial illustrations. This technique combines printmaking with drawing and results in delicate lines that can be coloured in with watercolour dyes, as is the case in this print. Cats Named Sam IV 61 therefore also captures Warhol’s love for colour and his creative experimentation with uncharacteristic colours in his prints.