Printed in 1954, Cats Named Sam IV 64 is an offset lithograph by Andy Warhol that depicts a cat in light pink with vibrant pink eyes. As opposed to most the cats depicted in this series, the cat in Cats Named Sam IV 64 is more dynamic and appears to be pointing at something to the right of the composition with its paw. The cat’s arched back and curved tail is accentuated by thick, black ink lines. Beneath the cat’s paw, its name, Sam, is written in beautiful calligraphy.
Cats Named Sam IV 64 is part of the Cats Named Sam series, produced by Warhol in 1954 to accompany a children’s book he published, 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy. Despite what might be expected from the title of the book, Warhol produced 16, not 25 lithograph prints alongside the book. While the original book is extremely rare, the prints have survived and are some of the earliest works by Warhol on the market today.
This series marks the start of Warhol’s career as a Pop artist and his experimentation with printing techniques and combining simple sketches with bright blocks of colour that could be added after the lithograph process. Cats Named Sam IV 64 reflects Warhol’s playful use of colour and each print in this series has a unique colour composition, meaning no two cats, despite their names, are alike.