Fool The Eye at the Nassau County Museum of Art – Introduction

Get ready to be amazed by an exhibition filled with optical illusions and artistic sleight of hand! To separate what’s real from what is a clever ruse in Fool The Eye, takes an alert eye and the willingness to examine art carefully. Enjoy the visual journey.

Take a few steps to the right and observe, draw your conclusions about what you think you see. Then, a few steps to the left reveals a whole new image. The guesses multiply. Is it a flat surface or a sculpture? Is it a photograph or a painting? Is it made of wood or bronze, rubber or steel? Is it real or faux? Expect the unexpected through moments of fascination, intrigue, shock, and astonishment.

Fool the Eye, on view at the Museum’s Saltzman Fine Arts Building from Saturday November 18, 2017 through March 4, 2018, challenges viewers to experience the wonder of masterful artistic techniques. This exhibition includes examples of traditional trompe l’oeil (meticulously painted, hyper-real images) and a wide range of other approaches to illusion. See larger-than-life oversized objects, hypnotic geometric abstractions, sculptures made of unexpected materials, images with mind-bending impossibilities and fine art so seemingly realistic, they are (nearly) indistinguishable from real things. The magic will provoke debates in every gallery about reality and deception.

Artists throughout the ages have been intrigued by perceptual illusions, devising visual tricks to manipulate the perception of space, incorporating spatial illusion as an aspect of their art. Featured in this exhibition are 20th- and 21st-century artists whose work has explored illusion, including Salvador Dali, Janet Fish, Audrey Flack, Jasper Johns, Judith Leiber, Roy Lichtenstein, Vik Muniz, Ben Schoenzeit, and Victor Vasarely.

Fool The Eye is guest curated by Franklin Hill Perrell with Debbie Wells. Their previous collaborations for the Museum have included Feast for the Eyes (July 2016), The Moderns: Long Island Collects (July 2015) and Garden Party (March 2014).

Ranked among the nation’s largest, most important suburban art museums, Nassau County Museum of Art is located about 25 miles east of New York City in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island (One Museum Drive) on the former Frick Estate, a spectacular property in the heart of Long Island’s fabled Gold Coast. The main museum building, named in honor of art collectors and philanthropists Arnold and Joan Saltzman, is a three-story Georgian mansion that exemplifies Gold Coast architecture of the late 19th century.

Image:  Federico Uribe, Portrait (Blue Hair), 2014, Colored pencil collage, 48 x 69 inches, Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, Boston

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