Constellation, 2009

Colin Zaug
Plexiglas, steel, electronics
Courtesy of the artist

The façade of the New Mexico Museum of Art has become an icon of Santa Fe, its semblance appearing in countless paintings, drawings, and photographs and in travel guides to the city. When the museum was built in 1917, it was modeled after I.H. and William M. Rapp’s New Mexico Building in San Diego’s Balboa Park, designed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Artist Robert Henri once said of the Santa Fe building, “The museum looks as though it were a precious child of the Santa Fe sky and the Santa Fe mountains.” Colin Zaug’s installation on the museum’s façade brings together sky and mountains: The massing of irregular forms, in earthy stucco, echoes the mountains that lie to the northeast of the building, and Zaug’s constellation of lights that hovers over the entry and climbs up the east bell tower suggests the starry night skies.

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