Strong-Cuevas with her Thought Travels VI, X-Ray sculpture

Strong-Cuevas's work deals with philosophical, psychological, and cosmic concepts. She began her work in sculpture in the 1960s, working under John Hovannes at the Art Students’ League of New York, and was exhibited early on by Alexander Iolas, the gallerist who famously gave Andy Warhol his first solo show. Strong-Cuevas later worked with sculptor Marcel “Toto” Meylan on a sculpture series, Heads I-V. Her work has since been exhibited in galleries, museums, and art fairs across the United States and Europe. It has also been the subject of three books — Strong-Cuevas: Heads, which documents her work with Meylan, Strong-Cuevas Drawings: Ideas on Paper, and Strong-Cuevas Sculpture: Premonitions in Retrospect — and several documentaries.

One of Strong-Cuevas’s large-scale stainless steel works, Thought Travels VI, X-Ray, stands more than 13 feet tall outside her studio in Long Island. Its telescope motif, referring to her belief that thought, like light, has the ability to travel through space and time, carries into countless other drawings and sculptures. Critic Donald Kuspit called her work “imaginative brainwaves of the archetypes,” a reference to the Jungian theory of archetypes as inherited ideas or thoughts that exist in the collective unconscious of all human beings.

Strong-Cuevas, Spiral Face, Bronze with green patina

Born in Paris, Strong-Cuevas lived and worked in New York from the 1960s until her death in 2023. She continued to create until the end, and her final year was momentous. She showed dozens of sculpture and drawings at a seminal exhibition at the Southampton Arts Center, was profiled in Park Avenue magazine, debuted a new documentary on her life and art by director Lana Jokel, and saw two back-to-back exhibitions at Grounds for Sculpture — “Night Forms: dream loop” and “Night Forms: Infinite Wave” — that featured her large-scale works illuminated in a multi-sensory light and sound experience by Klip Collective. 

A central figure in the New York City and East End art scenes, Strong-Cuevas’s peers included Max Ernst, Françoise Gilot, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Marisol, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Alfonso Ossorio, with whom she collaborated on works. Besides the Southampton Arts Center and Grounds for Sculpture, her work has been exhibited at the Biennale de Sculpture in Monte Carlo, Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza across from the United Nations, and many galleries. Her work also features in the permanent collections of the Bruce Museum, Heckscher Museum, Guild Hall Museum, Grounds for Sculpture, Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, and the Smithsonian-affiliated Long Island Museum. In 1994, her work appeared alongside John Chamberlain’s at an exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum, and was featured in The New York Times.

Strong-Cuevas's Arch II, Set II at Grounds for Sculpture

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