The Scoop

Gor­geous new “CATo­logue” il­lus­trates the many ways our fe­line friends have in­spired artists, writ­ers, and thinkers

Modern Cat - - Contents -

It’s en­tirely pos­si­ble to in­ad­ver­tently while away hours flip­ping through this fas­ci­nat­ing love let­ter to cats. Cati­cons: 4,000 Years of Art Im­i­tat­ing Cats, lov­ingly com­piled by Sandy Lerner, chron­i­cles the in­flu­ence of fe­lines on art, lit­er­a­ture, and mu­sic, both glob­ally and through­out his­tory. This im­age-rich book is a com­pen­dium of art­works, quotes, and mus­ings on cats, fea­tur­ing a gor­geous ar­ray of cat-themed art, such as a Ja­panese fan on gouache dat­ing from the 1920’s that fea­tures del­i­cately ren­dered kit­tens frol­ick­ing with a rib­bon, to Ro­man­tic cat por­trai­ture, like “A Cat in a Look­ing Glass,” painted by Aus­trian artist Carl Kahler. The beau­ti­fully as­sem­bled “CATo­logue” charts the fas­ci­nat­ing ways in which cats have in­spired and en­chanted artists through­out gen­er­a­tions. In­ter­spersed with lit­er­ary seg­ments that pay homage to fab­u­lous fe­lines, this lovely col­lec­tion not only pro­vides a thor­ough his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive on the in­flu­ence of the cat in so­ci­ety and cul­ture, but also serves as a touch­ing ode to a com­pan­ion that has cap­tured the hearts of so many. By show­ing read­ers how cats have ap­peared in the eyes of artists, Cati­cons cel­e­brates and pays trib­ute to the time-hon­oured re­la­tion­ship be­tween cats and hu­man­ity. In the af­ter­ward, Sandy self dep­re­cates that “as we all know, or­ga­niz­ing cats is a fool’s goose-chase” but she has def­i­nitely risen to the chal­lenge, cre­at­ing a nu­anced look at our re­la­tion­ships with and love for this com­plex and beau­ti­ful an­i­mal.

“Jake in the Ball­room at Ayr­shire Farm,” An­drew White (Louth, Eng­land 1968-), oil on can­vas.

Above, clock­wise: “Le Chat,” Pablo Pi­casso, 20C, Span­ish; “Tete de Chat,” Diego Gi­a­cometti, 20C, Swiss; Iron-red and Paw­print Spot­ted Porce­lain Cat, 18C, Chi­nese

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