Linda Durham Contemporary Art (1101 Paseo de Peralta, 505/466-6600, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat.) helped pull Santa Fe out of the mire of Western Americana with her first gallery in Galisteo, opened in the early 1980s. She has now moved to a prime spot just around the curve from Canyon Road and deals in big names such as Joel-Peter Witkin as well as up-and-comers—her taste runs to punchy, pop, and conceptual.
Similarly influential LewAllen Contemporary (129 W. Palace Ave., 505/988-8997, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.) represents Judy Chicago in Santa Fe as well as a range of other artists in every medium, though most are figurative to some degree.
Around the corner, Riva Yares (123 Grant Ave., 505/984-0330, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat.) deals in big—massive canvases, bold images, and famous names such as Frank Stella, Milton Avery, and Esteban Vicente.
The mission at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art (200 W. Marcy St., 505/989-8688, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.), one block up from LewAllen, is simple: monochrome. But even within this limited mandate, the variety can be surprising and compelling.
On Canyon Road, real cutting-edge work is rare, but do check out Nüart Gallery (670 Canyon Rd., 505/988-3888, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily), which showcases lots of Latin American magical realism alongside more abstract work.
A nice transition from some of the fustier Western galleries to the edgier contemporary scene, Meyer East Gallery (225 Canyon Rd., 505/983-1657, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.), established in 1860 in New Haven, opened this branch in Santa Fe in the 1980s. Landscapes are popular here, though this can vary from hyperrealism to the spare geometry of Jesse Wood.
Conveniently close to SITE Santa Fe, EVO Gallery (554 S. Guadalupe St., 505/982-4610, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Thurs. and Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Fri.) puts a heavy emphasis on conceptual work and abstraction. Ed Ruscha, Agnes Martin, and Kara Walker are on the roster next to relative upstarts such as Ligia Bouton.
While you’re there, check neighboring Box Gallery (1611-A Paseo de Peralta, 505/989-4897, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat.)—like EVO, it occupies a big, airy warehouse space in the Railyard and focuses on contemporary artists, but with less familiar names.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition