3D: Double Vision is the first American exhibition to survey a full range of artworks, dating from 1838 to the present, that produce the illusion of three dimensions. These artworks function by activating binocular vision—the process by which our brains synthesize the information received by our two eyes into a single, volumetric image.
The history of 3D begins in the 1830s with the invention of the stereoscope. Initially considered a scientific device, the stereoscope soon entered popular culture, as Victorian audiences became fascinated with stereo photographs depicting faraway lands, colossal monuments, current events, and comic scenes. 3D motion picture technology followed in the 20th century, along with consumer products such as View Masters and Stereo Realist cameras. Lenticular printing and holography generate dimensional effects without the aid of glasses. In the digital present, artists have access to all these technologies for generating virtual images.
Drawn from the realms of art, science, mass culture, and entertainment, the artworks in 3D: Double Vision will dazzle the eyes and provoke the imagination. Ultimately, to experience 3D is to engage with questions about the nature of perception, the allure of illusionism, and our relationship with the technologies that create such images.