Printed in 1954, Cats Named Sam IV 65 is an offset lithograph by Andy Warhol that depicts an elegant cat in brick red against a plain backdrop. Lying on its stomach, the cat stares to the right of the composition with its tail curved behind it. To the right of the composition, the cat’s name, Sam, is written in elegant calligraphy.
Cats Named Sam IV 65 is part of the Cats Named Sam series, produced by Warhol in 1954, a time in which the artist was predominantly working as a freelance commercial and children’s book illustrator. The 16 lithographs in this series were made by Warhol to accompany a children’s book he published, 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy, inspired by his mother, Julia, who was living with him in Manhattan at the time, along with her 25 cats.
This print features Warhol’s signature blotted line technique which he used in many of his earlier prints in the 1940s and 1950s. This printing technique results in delicate lines, sometimes dotted or broken, as seen in Cats Named Sam IV 65. The print also captures Warhol’s experimentation with colour, using watercolour dyes to enrich the prints. Indeed, it was Warhol’s wonderful use of colour that came to distinguish him as an icon of 20th century art.