Salman Toor - New Now London Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | Phillips

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  • "I think of the pictures as short stories where the emphasis falls on unexpected places, seemingly mundane situations become illuminating or interesting ones. It’s a way of dealing in clichés and daring to do them well." —Salman Toor


    Painted in 2012, Liberty Porcelain is a spectacular example of his signature imaginative aesthetic which blends two cultures into a pictorial language of his own. Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Toor was trained at the Pratt Institute in New York. The layering technique he uses, allows for multiple narratives to unfold within a single space - often combining Eastern and Western modes of painting, ultimately blending his Pakistani origins with his education in academic painting. Salman Toor’s celebrated body of work is currently on exhibition through his first solo museum show at The Whitney Museum of American Art, Salman Toor: How Will I Know, closing in April 2021. This institutional recognition is a testimony to the importance of Toor’s oeuvre on an international scale and as an ambassador for the artistic community in Pakistan.


    Liberty Porcelain depicts four characters of different dimensions. In the background, a colonial building resembling the Frere Hall, a Pakistani architectural landmark is distinguishable. Toor incorporates a playful element when dressing his characters- two of the characters gathered in the left corner are dressed in traditional Pakistani celebratory dress. The older man bears a green turban and a bright orange robe whilst simultaneously embraced by a younger man whose hands are wrapped around his neck. The woman standing beside them is wearing a beautiful red Chitrali coiffe hat with long luscious feathers. The fourth character dominating the work resembles the little boy in Eugene Delacroix’s iconic 1830 painting Liberty Leading the People. This reiterates the importance of classical reference within Toor’s practice. Liberty Porcelain epitomises the rendering of his imaginary universe. By incorporating these stylistic variations such as with the cartoon-like shoes at the center of the work, the parallels of genre make Toor’s work mysterious, intriguing and refreshing.

    • Provenance

      Indus Valley Schools Gallery, Karachi
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Karachi, Indus Valley Schools Gallery, Band Baaja Baraat, 11 April - 28 April 2012


Liberty Porcelain

signed and dated 'Salman Toor '12' on the reverse
oil on linen
143 x 92.5 cm (56 1/4 x 36 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2012.

Full Cataloguing

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £378,000

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 15 December 2020