Pakistan-born figurative painter Salman Toor’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, scheduled to run until April, has brought the emerging artist to the market’s attention. Now, alongside works by in-demand names Matthew Wong, Titus Kaphar and Jordan Casteel, Christie’s will bring Toor’s Rooftop Party with Ghosts I (2015) to bidders in its live contemporary art day sale on December 3 in New York. The work is expected to achieve a price of $100,000-$150,000.
The day sale will also include a group of seven works donated by artists Mark di Suvero, Rashid Johnson, Martin Puryear, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, Johnny Swing and Ursula von Rydingsvard to benefit the Storm King Art Center. Its set to follow a relay-style auction that will take place across Christie’s Hong Kong and Rockefeller center locations on December 2, headlined by examples from Pablo Picasso, Gerard Richter and Joan Mitchell.
Measuring at 46.5 inches by 66 inches, Rooftop Party with Ghosts I is one part of a triptych first debuted at New York’s Aicon Gallery during the artist’s 2015 showcase “Resident Alien,” where it was purchased by the seller. In a statement, Christie’s described Toor’s style as host to “liminal and surreal scenes and intimate views of imagined everyday scenes between queer and BIPOC men unapologetically inhabiting their space through a highly stylized and painterly use of color and form.”
The December sale will mark the second time a work by the artist has been offered auction. Phillips sold the first Toor canvas on the secondary market, Aashiana (Hearth and Home) from 2012, during its New York October evening sale, where it made £138,600 ($185,375). The painting beat its estimate of £30,000 ($40,124) by a factor of 4 times.
In an interview with Art Market Monitor prior to the sale’s announcement, Christie’s specialist and head of the contemporary art day sales in New York Rachael White Young noted that a growing collector base, institutional backing and scarcity of works on the primary market have led to increasing demand around Toor’s work. In June, the New York–based painter joined the roster of Luhring Augustine gallery. His works reside in the collections of MCA Chicago and Tate London in addition to three examples recently acquired by the Whitney Museum of Art.