Joe Deal

Photographer Joe Deal died this June in Providence, Rhode Island, where he taught at RISD. But his life (1947-2010) was devoted to studying the American West, only not the pretty Adams-Weston vistas of pristine dunes, peaks, and beaches. Instead, as seen in the eight images presented in Joe Deal and Views of the Altered Landscape, he scrutinized the subdivisions and sprawl of postwar California and New Mexico. There is nature as we want to see it preserved, then there’s the actual fact of development—the bulldozing and paving, the property lines and cul de sacs imposed on the Earth. You can’t call it blight, exactly, since Deal’s somber documents reveal a new, manmade symmetry in the power grids and neatly watered lawns. Cropped into tight squares, these are windows into a place where you might not want to live—but many of us unquestionably do. Also on view: eight kindred landscapes by Deal’s contemporaries, including Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, and Catherine Wagner. BRIAN MILLER

Thursdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Starts: Dec. 2. Continues through March 27, 2010

 
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