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BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN | NICOLE McCORMICK SANTIAGO: THE SWEET LIFE McCormick Santiago’s figurative paintings are inspired by domestic narratives and environments. Her recent works are autobiographical, exploring bittersweet scenes of celebration. Lushly painted, these images depict the contrast between unabashed indulgence and the selfless constraints of motherhood. One of the artist’s recurring motifs in these works is cake, which serves as an implication of ritual, indulgence and decadence, as well as gluttony.
Through June 15, reception: Sat., June 1, 3-5pm at First Street Gallery (526 W. 26th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves., Ste. 209). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 646-336-8053 or visit firststreetgallery.net.
BETTY WOODMAN: WINDOWS, CARPETS AND OTHER PAINTINGS Woodman’s career began in the 1950s as a production potter, with the aim of creating beautiful objects to enhance everyday life. Since then, her ceramics have transitioned from functional objects to works of art. For many years, the vase was Woodman’s primary subject. By deconstructing its form, she has created an exuberant and complex body of sculpture. In addition, she has constructed large installations comprised of various ceramic shapes. Woodman is known for her exuberant palette, embracing saturated hues of various shades. Woodman acknowledges Greek, Aztec and Tang civilizations, alongside Southern Baroque, American Slipware and 17th century Japanese Oribe motifs as significant sources of inspiration.
Through June 14, at Salon 94 Freemans (1 Freeman Alley, off of Rivington St., btw. Bowery & Christie). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-529-7400 or visit salon94.com.
SPENCER FINCH: FATHOM While he works in a wide variety of mediums (including watercolor, photography, glass, electronics and video), Finch is best known for dealing with the elusive concepts of memory and perception through light installations. He is interested in recording the invisible world, while simultaneously striving to understand what might lie beyond it. In the past, he has measured the light that exists naturally in a specific place and time with a colorimeter, for example, and re-constructed the luminosity of the location through artificial means.
Through June 15, at James Cohan Gallery (533 W. 26th St., btw 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-714-9500 or visit jamescohan.com.
THE WOOLWORTH BUILDING @ 100 On April 24, 1913, the Woolworth Building opened with a ceremony attended by hundreds of dignitaries. The brilliant spectacle, which also took eighty thousand incandescent bulbs to illuminated the New York night, was a career-crowning achievement for the tower’s owner — the five-and-dime store king, Frank W. Woolworth. Woolworth paid for the skyscraper with his personal fortune and was very much involved in every decision of its design. This exhibition pays tribute to the great Gothic tower, which has significantly defined the silhouette of the New York skyline ever since.
Through July 14 at The Skyscraper Museum (39 Battery Pl., at West St.). Hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-6pm. Call 212-968-1961 or visit skyscraper.org.