Deep Springs
Sam Contis


Contis’s photographs capture the strange beauty of macro and microcosmic views in the high desert. The indistinguishableness of earth and body and the sensual echoes of human and animal give her works an Ovidian sense of imminent metamorphoses. – Lawrence Rinder 

The images in Sam Contis's Deep Springs were made in a remote desert valley east of the Sierra Nevada. The work centres on a small, all-male liberal arts college, founded in 1917 by the educational pioneer L. L. Nunn. 

The college and its surroundings provide a stage on which Contis explores the construction of myth, place, and masculine identity. Bringing together new photographs with pictures made by the first students at the college a century ago, Deep Springs engages with the enduring image of the American West––one that Hollywood, mass media, and the history of American photography have imprinted into the collective psyche. 

Sam Contis lives and works in California. Her work is represented in the collections of LACMA, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art and has recently been exhibited in solo shows at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York. In 2018, her work will be on view in “Being: New Photography” at the Museum of Modern Art. Deep Springs is her first book.

Hardback with printed paper cover
152 pages, 48 colour and 51 duotone plates
24 x 28.8 cm

Publication date: May 2017
ISBN: 978-1-910164-86-0

In the press


FK Magazine
D2 Magazine
El Pais
The New York Times
Book Scrolling
British Journal of Photography
Lens Culture
Photobook Store Magazine
The Heavy Collective
Photo District News
Humble Arts Foundation Blog
les inrocks magazine
The Heavy Collective
New York Magazine
1000 Words
Il Fotografo
Playboy Italia
First Proof
The British Journal of Photography
Document Journal
MW Magazine
American Suburb X
Photograph Magazine
New York Times
France Culture 
TANK Magazine
De Standaard
California Sunday
The Financial Times
Art News
San Francisco
Interview Magazine