Andy Warhol Cow 1971

In the early 60’s, Andy Warhol declared “painting is dead,” and became fascinated with printmaking. He saw it as the way to make art in the modern world, and fully dove into exploring how to push the boundaries of this new medium. 

This screenprint, Cow 1971, for example, was published by Factory Additions, New York, on wallpaper for Andy Warhol's 1971 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The story of how Andy Warhol came to choose cows as his subject matter is a classic example of the artist’s quirky humor and approach to Pop Art. 

The inspiration for Cow 1971 came from art dealer Ivan Karp. In his memoir Popism: The Warhol Sixties, Andy Warhol recalled “Another time [Karp] said, 'Why don't you paint some cows, they're so wonderfully pastoral and such a durable image in the history of the arts.' (Ivan talked like this.)” Andy Warhol immediately grasped his spin on the outdated subject matter and exclaimed, “New cows! Fresh cows!” 

Andy Warhol wrote, “I don't know how 'pastoral' he expected me to make them, but when he saw the huge cow heads that I was going to have made into rolls of wallpaper, he was shocked. But after a moment he exploded with: 'They're super-pastoral! They're ridiculous! They're blazingly bright and vulgar!' I mean, he loved those cows and for my next show we papered all the walls in the gallery with them.”

Cow 1971 (1971) by Andy Warhol is a screenprint on wallpaper and is referenced in Feldman II.11A. Cow 1971 is an unsigned and unknown edition.  Cow 1971 was printed by Bill Miller’s Wallpaper Studio, Inc., New York. For more information about Andy Warhol or Cow 1971 please contact the gallery.