LINLING LU

On View through August 28

Linling Lu, 2020, HEMPHILL, Washington DC

Linling Lu, 2020, HEMPHILL, Washington DC

Linling Lu, 2020, HEMPHILL, Washington DC

Linling Lu, 2020, HEMPHILL, Washington DC

Linling Lu, 2020, HEMPHILL, Washington DC

We knew Linling Lu was extraordinary the moment her work arrived on June 17, 2011 for inclusion in a show at Carroll Square, a space where we often tested the work of younger artists. She has since attracted greater and greater attention. She has been commissioned for multiple site-specific projects involving dozens of paintings, has sold out exhibitions, and nearly every work coming out of her studio is spoken for. Recent press coverage describes Linling as a “super star.” Long before deciding the gallery’s new location at 434 K Street, we knew we would inaugurate the space with a show by Linling Lu. No other artist could better conquer an untested exhibition space. No other artist would show off the architecture of the new gallery to such a degree. No other artist would generate as much excitement. 

Lu is an irrepressible talent who takes her audience to the next level in her work. Her precise, yet unpredictable color choices surpass any previous artists's theory and feeling for palette. Seeing the exhibition is to experience an expanding realization of color possibilities. The installation is sequenced differently than the typical gallery show; Lu juxtaposes her iconic large-scale circular paintings with oval arrangements of multiple works commanding entire walls. Lu studied both classical piano and landscape architecture, and this show demonstrates her gift for architectonic statements with allusions to musical composition.

Press releases, including this one, are tasked with proclaiming and projecting an artist’s past and future career success. There are greater aspects to Lu’s effort. She claims no space for personal expression and makes no plea for admiration. Her work is generous in character; it is universal. Everything about Lu’s practice pushes the viewer to consider life outside of the self. Through her extraordinary discipline, Lu focuses our attention on an exterior experience. In that experience we attain a heightened sense of awareness.