• View of “Jeff Koons,” 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. From left: New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10-Gallon Displaced Tripledecker, 1981–87; Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994–2000; Pink Panther, 1988; Caterpillar Ladder, 2003; Elephant, 2003; Buster Keaton, 1988; and Triple Hulk Elvis I, 2007. Photo: Nathan Keay.

    Jeff Koons

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    IN APRIL 2004, the New York Times Magazine published an excerpt from the then forthcoming book by David Brooks, the newspaper’s main op-ed purveyor of commonsense banalities. Titled “Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia,” the essay argued that exurbia—that land of megachurches, McMansions, and endless fields of perfectly groomed grass—was a uniquely American heaven on earth. This paved idyll, Brooks contended, is driven by what he termed “the Paradise Spell”:

    [The Spell] is . . . the tendency to see the present from the vantage point of the future. It starts with imagination—the ability

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  • Li Lin Lee

    Walsh Gallery

    Li Lin Lee’s recent paintings are certainly formulaic—each of the sixty-eight paintings shown here is made of oil, wax, and alkyd on plaster-coated burlap mounted onto canvas; each is sixteen by twelve inches and is presented edge-to-edge in a horizontal group of four, creating seventeen works in all; and each is structured around some overt geometric shape or hard-edged pattern that Lee paints onto a richly scumbled and muted monochromatic field. They are like glyphs or pictographs, integers in some personal language impossible to decode fully. Lee’s work invites visual and formal delectation

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