Santa Fe Modern

© Casey Dunn

Initially appearing in CCA’s Spector Ripps Gallery and now located in CCA’s Cinema Gallery, Santa Fe Modern features a group of photographs of contemporary architecture and interiors by Casey Dunn, created for the book of the same name by Helen Thompson, and published by Monacelli Press (2021). This exhibition examines how Indigenous design, materials, and design have informed modernist architecture and are in turn reflected in modernist and contemporary domestic architecture of Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

This exhibition will be accompanied by public programs and talks in the Studio theater designed to examine contemporary architecture and design in Santa Fe and to address the complexities around historic preservation, affordable housing, urban infill, sustainability, and progressive design. The exhibition opened on Friday, December 10th, 2021 in the Spector Ripps Gallery and moved to CCA’s Cinema Gallery on March 18th, 2022.

About the book:

Santa Fe’s dramatic mountain landscape, endless views, clear light, pueblo-style adobe architecture, and vibrant history of Indigenous cultures have made the desert oasis a popular destination for creative spirits for over a century. In the last few decades, though, the city has emerged as a hub for contemporary design, art, photography, and architecture. A robust proliferation of modernist homes has changed both the shape and intention of Santa Fe’s buildings as well as their relationship to the landscape. 

The first book to explore the modernist and contemporary architecture and interiors of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Modern is organized by project, presenting a diverse selection of private homes. Through these beautifully photographed examples, Thompson reveals the dramatic high desert as the ideal setting for the bold, abstracted forms of modernist houses. While the featured architects draw from the architectural heritage of New Mexico, they use long-established materials such as adobe and wood in combination with steel and glass. These projects are confident examples of architecture that is particular to the desert landscape and climate, relying on the elemental integrity of old building traditions, yet simultaneously evoking the rigorous expressions of modernism.