Lot 41
Half Telescope (1995)
12 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 5 inches
signed and editioned 9/10

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

Price Realized: $12,160
Includes buyer's premium

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From a Private Upper East Side Collection
purchased in 2008 from Island Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
overall good condition, with some minor abrasions and gentle wear to finish

Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas


Born in France, Ms. de Cuevas was a refined aristocrat fluent in four languages. She hailed from distinguished lineage as the daughter of Margaret Strong de Cuevas, reputedly the favored grandchild of John D. Rockefeller, the renowned tycoon of the Gilded Age and founder of Standard Oil. Captivated by the grandeur of European cathedrals and palaces during her youth, she cultivated a vibrant imagination that soared beyond earthly bounds, drawing inspiration from ancient civilizations, Indian mysticism, and celestial realms.

Under the professional pseudonym Strong-Cuevas, she gained prominence for her sculptural creations, notably featuring expansive human profiles and heads. Her works, ranging from totemic to abstract, often exhibited Cubist influences, portraying faces from diverse perspectives. Exploring themes of unity across minds and transcending materiality, she expressed her fascination with physics, spiritual concepts, and yoga.

Beyond earthly confines, Ms. de Cuevas envisioned otherworldly dimensions in her artistry, frequently incorporating symbolic telescopic elements into her trademark faces, suggesting a cosmic gaze towards distant stars. Embracing the notion of extraterrestrial existence and cosmic consciousness, she infused her creations with a sense of wonderment towards the vastness of the universe.

In her own words, she mused, "I like to be awed, as at the pyramids in Egypt. It gives me joy and peace. And I like things to be magical, mythological. If something is your size, then it’s just another human being."