new-york

View of “Cheryl Donegan,” 2016.

Cheryl Donegan

New Museum

View of “Cheryl Donegan,” 2016.

Cheryl Donegan: Scenes and Commercials,” a condensed retrospective of works spanning twenty-three years, curated by Johanna Burton, was festively immersive, as if a multimedia flowchart and a neo–New Wave lookbook had exploded into an array of chic party decorations on the New Museum’s fifth floor. The visual hubbub of video works on monitors and screens, paintings strung between or clustered around them, had a high-concept/low-budget vibe. Donegan’s entertaining, goofy-yet-aloof videos are mostly performance-based (starring herself) and simply edited, while her paintings exploit the stylishly raw or unfinished, slightly messy look of studies, mock-ups, or bright set props meant to be viewed from some distance. Glancing around the room, I was struck by the way her grunge-era, lo-res tactics have morphed seamlessly into the Internet’s aesthetics of immediacy. The customary rough

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