In 1980, Joe Deal photographed backyards in Diamond Bar. The images, all black-and-white and clinical, make suburbia seem absolutely absurd. Among his strangest is a photo of a swimming poolshaped island of perfectly green grass, empty but surrounded by lawn furniture, cacti and other brush arranged in dirt. It's on view in the Getty's "In Focus" show along with about two dozen other silver gelatin prints that examine SoCal from the '50s until 1980. The show feels like an Errol Morris documentary skeptical but almost eagerly so, and all strung together with understated, dry humor. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; through May 6. getty.edu.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 20. Continues through May 6, 2011