Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Andy Warhol loved cats, reputedly keeping as many as twenty-five in the Lexington Avenue apartment he shared with his mother. The book comprises sixteen lithographs of cats, each named Sam, and a seventeenth simply captioned ‘One Blue Pussy’ (plus the cover makes a total of 18 watercolors). Warhol’s affectionate studies are full of whimsy, depicting cats in various postures of play and repose. It is not entirely clear, however, if we are looking at different cats, or instead multiple images of the same cat.
Very few copies of the book were sold, most were given away as gifts to friends and clients. The coloring of the lithographs was done at "coloring parties" with Warhol's friends, a precursor of the collective approach that characterized much of Warhol's career. The calligraphy is by Julia Warhola, Warhol's mother. This is among the most significant American artist books of the period, and was reproduced in facsimile by Random House in 1987.
Printed by Seymour Berlin c.1954 for Warhol. First edition, numbered and signed in ballpoint, this being an example of a stated 190 copies (though it has been said that fewer, perhaps max 150, were actually created). Full off-white leatherette binding of issue, the upper cover with a hand-colored lithographed label depicting a cat, lettered with the title and author, with gray endpapers. 9 x 5 7/8 inches (22.5 x 18 cm); tipped-in limitation leaf (recto blank), followed by 17 leaves, each bearing an offset lithograph by Warhol on Arches paper. The cover lithograph completes the count of 18. All the lithographs are brightly hand-colored with washes of Dr. Martin's aniline watercolor dyes.