In a curious way, and more than any other single thing, Thiebaud challenges us to be true to the real sources of our happiness, to the way that in a haphazard commercial culture, small areas of order appear—a San Francisco hill caught in a corridor of skyscrapers that look as inevitable as Monument Valley, a shop window seemingly laid out by the hand of God—and become in our memories as sacred as stained glass and at times as sad. What sustains his art is not so much how shadowed or complex his view of that happiness is, but how confidently he knows that getting the happiness down right will convey the sadness, too. He proposes that the American subject is the self-evidence of happiness, and . . . “The self-evidence of happiness!” (the little cakes seem to cry out at last, even as the pronouncer takes a breath for his last bite of the rhetorical apple). The self-evidence of happiness! Three bites and it’s gone.