An exceptionally skilled and visionary painter, Francesca Sundsten has been creating work for nearly three decades. Drawing from Renaissance portraiture, the artist “blends human and wild-animal traits in the most unlikely ways” (Seattle Times). Surreal, yet starkly realistic, her hybrid creatures unveil a sense of humor and delight.
Sundsten is deliberately quiet about her work, not wanting to impose her own perspectives onto the viewer. Instead, we are invited to invent our own stories, free to re-imagine the world to our liking. Small details like a seemingly misplaced drip of red paint on “Nanook” serve as reminders that reality, whatever that may be, will still be there when we wish to return to it.
Born in Hemet, California in 1960, Sundsten moved to Seattle at the age of three. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1987 and her MFA from Stanford University in 1990. Her work has been shown internationally at galleries and museums, including the Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens (San Francisco, CA) and Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, WA), and is in the permanent collection of the Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA). A recipient of many awards and grants, including a Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, Sundsten has taught drawing and painting at Cornish College of the Arts and Stanford University, among other institutions. She currently resides and works in Seattle.