ART & SOUL: GALLERY TO CHERISH

12/1/2017

By Alice Cisterino and Michael McCarthy, DC Modern Luxury

Whether it’s a team of digital-art visionaries or a national showcase of Asian art, DC’s art scene is as innovative and intellectually challenging as ever. Enjoy the wild ride this winter.

Hemphill Fine Arts showcases local color genius Linling Lu.

Veteran gallery owner and collector George Hemphill doesn’t equivocate when it comes to the work of Linling Lu. “As an art dealer, it’s incumbent upon me to select and promote an artist as important—often claiming he or she to be more important than what proceeded or competes,” says Hemphill, owner of Hemphill Fine Arts on 14th Street. “Lu’s painting and her stance as an artist step back from self-expression in a Western sense and in the competitiveness inherent to most artists’ careers. Her work expresses the existence of a kind of unity and the hope for greater unity.” And then there’s the intense and mesmerizing color of Lu’s pieces, reminiscent of the Washington Color School movement from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. Like the practitioners of the movement, Hemphill says Lu’s work isn’t a rendering of something in the world—it’s color not representative of anything but color. “Yet her work differs in its purpose and reflects its maker’s belief in the usefulness of art beyond the artwork itself,” he says. In other words, sit with Lu’s work for a while and become transported, which is one of art’s missions. The artist herself says painting has become a practice to build endurance and compassion while also embracing the beauty of solitude. “Her paintings have made me a better person—I am thankful and awestruck,” says Hemphill. Through Dec. 16, 1515 14th St. NW