"Joe Deal is the photographer who perhaps best exemplifies the important approach to photographing the man-altered landscape that became known as the "New Topographics" when an exhibit toured and a book of that name was published in 1975. Deal's style is cool and dispassionate, his impeccable prints at first glance understated. But his keen observation and sense of the ironies of the population and building explosion in the Los Angeles Basin make his photographs resonate with the tensions of the human relationship to the landscape that are nowhere more evident than in southern California.
Ultimately, Joe Deal's photographs are more than a survey of the urban landscape and vernacular architecture in earthquake country. From the manicured lawns in what were once desert arroyos to cities built on the beach, the sociological implications are profound and never far from view to the careful observer of these photographs. The essays provide thoughtful commentary on the far-reaching questions Joe Deal raises. Presenting these numerous series of photographs together for the first time, this book is a major contribution to late twentieth-century photography."