Francesca Sundsten

Francesca Sundsten (1960 – March 9, 2019) was an American contemporary artist. She applied time-honored techniques though exploring elements of composition, palette, and minor abstractions of manner and paint to create paintings and illustrations which were described by The Seattle Times as "calling to mind the Old Masters" with a "distinctly surrealist sensibility."

Born in Hemet, California, United States, Sundsten's relatives moved to the Seattle Place when she was three. She began painting seriously in her before 20s, and enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1984. Sundsten's amalgamation was in representational painting, a style which was discouraged in her undergraduate program, and after seeing an Odd Nerdrum exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, she traveled to Oslo to study next him. She returned to the Art Institute in the same way as her informal internship, where she spent the with two years "defending the unpopular direction", and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987. In 1990, she time-honored a Master of Fine Arts degree from Stanford University.

Sundsten had solo exhibitions at the Grover/Thurston Galleries, Davidson Galleries, Linda Warren Gallery, Diane Nelson Fine Art, Olga Dollar Gallery, and Parker/Zinc Gallery, Hall Spassov Gallery and her bill is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Microsoft, and the University of Washington Medical Center. In a review of Sundsten's 2003 exhibit of drawings and paintings at the Davidson Galleries, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote that "Sundsten's Good painting and mastery of reality hides nothing in haze. Her quirky, starkly confrontational imagery doesn't touch as much as it questions. The characters hang in mortified naivete, pondering, 'How did I get here?'" Of her 2013 exhibit Creatures at the Grover/Thurston Galleries, art critic Michael Upchurch wrote: "Throughout "Creatures", Sundsten's dazzling painterly aptitude makes her fantastical subjects feel oddly plausible."

Sundsten taught at Stanford University, the Pratt Institute, and Cornish College of the Arts.

Sundsten, who played bass for the art-punk Seattle band The Beakers, was married to King Crimson drummer Bill Rieflin.

On August 7, 2019, it was announced that Sundsten had died from complications of lymphoma. Toyah Willcox, in announcing the death of Bill Rieflin, confirmed that the date of her death had been March 9, 2019.

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