Best Downtown Painting Perch

9th and H streets NW
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The long-awaited CityCenterDC development is ready to erupt in an orgasm of luxury living in downtown D.C. Now, before all the shops (and shoppers) arrive, may be the best time to scope out several subtle artworks commissioned by Hines, the developer. From both the north and south sides of the development, passersby can see the serene work of Linling Lu, a painter who makes round paintings of concentric rings. (Picture Saturn, perhaps, as seen from above.) Two clusters of her circular canvases can be seen from 920 Eye St. NW; another two sets of paintings from the same series, “One Hundred Melodies of Solitude,” can be found inside the lobby at 925 H Street NW. Two more paintings by Steven Cushner—who, like Lu, is also represented by Hemphill Fine Arts—were part of the Hines commission. While the storefronts anchoring the luxury apartments may make CityCenterDC the District’s Rodeo Drive, looking at the art is always free.