Crossroads Hotel

Anne Austin Pearce

Sep 07 - Nov 23


SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 – NOVEMBER 23, 2021

There was sheer spirited joy in Icarus’ fearless breach of the sun. Against all counsel, with wings of feather and wax, hubris took over and the young man was singed by his own ambition, and came crashing down to the sea, drowning immediately following his fleeting taste of glory. For the briefest moment, we imagine Icarus’ experience as the purest form of ecstasy, a euphoric explosion of spectral color, sound stretching beyond human hearing, and skin-searing aspiration. Ovid’s parable brings us right to the present – a moment where human habitation of this planet may have already breached its limit, our politics escape moral reason, and public good has lost its moorings.

Anne Austin Pearce’s work Icarus graphs onto this morality tale a space for reflection – an image that invites one to ask large questions – Can I live a moral life? Can I pursue pleasure without harming others? Is there a place for me in a world that’s flying too close to the sun? How do I hang on to ecstatic possibilities that appear just beyond reach?


About the Artist 

Anne Austin Pearce is currently Associate Professor of Studio Art at SOKA University of America in Aliso Viejo, California. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Art at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri, where she also served as the long-time director of the university’s Greenlease Gallery of Art. Pearce studied at Kansas City Art Institute, Brighton Polytechnic, the University of Kansas, and she received her MFA in drawing and painting from James Madison University. Pearce’s work, encompassing drawings, paintings, sculptures, and mixed media installations, has been widely exhibited and is held in museum collections including MDC Museum of Art at University of Kansas; Daum Museum of Art, Sedalia, Missouri; and Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas.


Icarus is curated by Hesse McGraw, executive director, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.


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