Doppler Shift

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2 vanishing points on 2 opposite diagonal lines 1 © Courtesy of the artist & The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
Doppler Shift

68 Elm Street
Summit, NJ 07901
September 28th, 2014 - January 18th, 2015
Opening: September 28th, 2014 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

United States
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm; Thursday 10:00am–8pm; and Saturday & Sunday 11am–4pm. Please call to confirm holiday hours.
painting, video-art, drawing, sculpture


The works in Doppler Shift explore the illusion of difference between two- and three-dimensional space. Filling two galleries and connecting hallways, the exhibition features painting, sculpture, drawing, video and site-specific works by twenty-seven artists from the United States and Europe. The title refers to the Doppler effect—an apparent change in the frequency of emitted waves relative to an observer—often illustrated by the example of a moving train whistle that sounds higher as the train approaches an observer, and lower as it recedes.

This exhibition examines the relationship of the viewer to the work of art by investigating how shifting perspectives alter the visual experience. As various factors change—the viewing distance, angle of vision, lighting conditions, duration of looking—forms and objects seem to shift between two and three dimensions, creating spatial ambiguities and visual disorientation. The interaction of color and line may prompt similar optical sensations, making stationary lines and forms appear to move. The unconventional or unexpected placement of art objects creates interesting and playful juxtapositions that respond to the building’s architecture, with its angled walls, high and low ceilings and expansive windows.

In a way, the Doppler effect describes a situation in which the observer hears something that is not really there, since the sound heard is different in pitch from what is emitted. Similarly, the viewer’s visual perception of objects in Doppler Shift may differ from their reality, provoking unexpected and stimulating results.