Eva Wylie, Flat Out

Philadelphia Art Alliance
Through August 5th

By Isabel Oliveres

Victorian kitsch and childhood playfulness meet at Eva Wylie’s screen-print installation Flat Out. Song birds, leaves, diminutive hairbrushes, and even tinier carousel horses all collide upon carefully composed four-color separation silk screened backgrounds.

The majority of the canvases provide a pastel background—the baby blues, teals and yellows envelop a collage of miscellaneous screen-printed objects. From afar, one might even say Wylie’s prints look like wrapping paper, yet their whimsical oddity lures you in, demanding a closer look. This proves especially true for the two darker pieces of the installation, where blacks, grays, and browns replace the cotton-candy tones of the other works, creating a scene reminiscent of an apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland. Though Wylie’s exploration of the theme of mechanical reproduction does get repetitive at times, the wall piece steals the show. An enormous printed wreath of commonplace items appears to fall from the ceiling delicately balanced above a fireplace mantel.

Flat Out highlights the artist’s impressive technique through layered pieces where whimsy, Victorian decoupage, and modern anxieties play on wall and canvas. Wylie’s inner child is expressed through her expert adult hands, forging an installation that is as quirky as it is bewildering.



Isa Oliveres was born and raised in Mexico City, though she currently lives in Philadelphia where she studies English and History.