Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Salman Toor’s Dreamy Scenes Imagine the Queer, South Asian Everyday

HYPERALLERGIC
By Isabel Ling
Salman Toor, “Sleeping Boy” (2019), oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches
Originally slated to be shown in March, Salman Toor’s dynamic, figurative paintings take on new dimensions of nostalgia and yearning in How Will I Know, his first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Toor, who was born in Lahore, Pakistan and now resides in New York, captures the anonymous intimacy of public urban life — the theater of crowded bars and lovers perched on stoops — tableaus that viewers prior to the pandemic might have found simply relatable now feel potent in their depictions of forbidden conviviality. Adrift in this reverie are Toor’s subjects: South Asian, queer men. These men are stylish, evinced by the artist’s careful representation of details like the glint of a gold ring or a bandana tied just so ‘round a recurring character’s neck. [More