Title: Cow (FS II.11A)
Medium: Screenprint on Wallpaper
Size: 45 1/2″ x 29 3/4″
Edition: Stamped; In blue ink, “Authorized by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts” and “The Estate of Andy Warhol”; with Andy Warhol Foundation inventory number written in pencil (all verso)
The inspiration for Warhol’s Cow portraits came from Ivan Karp, an instrumental art dealer in the 1960s. Karp once told Warhol, “Why don’t you paint some cows? They’re so wonderfully pastoral and such a durable image in the history of the arts.” (POPism: The Warhol Sixties, p. 22) Gerard Malanga, Warhol’s printer, was the one who chose the photograph of the cow. But ultimately, it was what Warhol did with this image that made the final product so interesting. For the colors, he used a light brown on a bold blue, that made the cow look like a playful storybook animal. Warhol printed the cow on wallpaper, introducing this process to his creative production. This particular print was published for an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, 1971.
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