Richard Sudden was born into the semi-nomadic life of a military dependent, and from the earliest age, developed an interminable case of wanderlust (he was the subject of two search parties before the age of five). That love of exploring continued to develop with treks and travels with his family and friends and with even greater purpose in adulthood with journeys into some of the most remote and exotic places on the planet. 

And although travel has been one of Sudden‘s greatest inspirations his other passion was reading. A bookstore owner at age 22, his interest gravitated to world religions, philosophy, art, and nature; their languages, symbols, and rituals, and to all the wonderful and mysterious places their study could take him.

These influences became his artwork. Traveling and recording the symbols and evolution of language in diverse cultures around the world from voodoo in Haiti to petroglyphs in the Australian outback, Sudden turned his observations into his own visual language. In 1993 he traveled to Nepal and Tibet; it became his most impactful trip to date. The rich symbolic language of Hinduism and especially Buddhism became an endless source of inspiration.

“Sudden’s intellectual travels are as broad as his worldly ones”, wrote critic Catherine Fox in a review of his exhibition of new works entitled, “Ex Libris”, a follow up to his “Notes from the Library of Babel”, of which critic Jerry Cullum wrote “These paintings are a worthy testament to the artist’s lifelong exploration of symbolic forms and of ways of making effective works of art.”