King Crimson artist Francesca Sundsten has died

King Crimson
King Crimson

Artist Francesca Sundsten, whose work was closely associated with King Crimson (opens in new tab), has died.

The news was confirmed on King Crimson’s DGM Live website (opens in new tab), where it’s reported that she died from complications due to lymphoma.

Born in 1960, Sundsten’s work – which included the famous Cyclops image – appeared on Crimson’s covers, tour books and posters since 2014 – including the band’s 2019 50th anniversary tour poster. 

She also designed the cover for Bill Rieflin, Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn’s 1999 album The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior.

Fripp says: “Francesca Sundsten had a unique way of seeing things – with strange, mysterious and sometimes disturbing developing-variations on her theme. I have no idea where any of this came from. 

“I think it unlikely that Francesca had any sense of her power and status as an artist, nor quite how her work moved and affected people. 

“We have Francescas all over our home, where they have been part of our lives well before Francesca’s seeings came to present and represent aspects of King Crimson. This is a consolation, the ongoing presence of a yet-to-be fully appreciated talent and a much-missed friend.”

A retrospective collection of Sundsten’s work will be on display at the Hall Spassov Gallery in Seattle (opens in new tab) from today (August 8).

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.