The inspiration for this Cow from 1971 and the rest of the Cow series 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.” 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. He used a bold color scheme of bright pink on a yellow-green, which made the bovine animal a humorous and strangely exciting subject matter. Warhol printed the image on wallpaper. This particular print was made during the last days of the Andy Warhol Exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1971.
Cow (Rare) by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Between 1966 and 1976, Warhol created the Cow series with the color schemes: Pink Cow on Yellow Background (1966), Brown Cow with Blue Background (1971), Yellow Cow on Blue Background (1971) and finally Pink Cow on Purple Background (1976). This print in particular was published in 1971 during the last days of an Andy Warhol Exhibition at the Whitney Museum. The Cow series showcases one of Andy Warhol’s most recognizable images.