A display system for providing a two dimensional image includes an essentially one dimensional light valve array. The diffractive light valve array includes modulator elements which diffract or reflect light incident thereon to an extent determined by an image element to be represented. The display system is arranged such diffracted light from the light-valve array passes through a magnifying lens and is separated from the reflected light from the array. A magnified virtual image of the array formed by the diffracted light is viewed through the magnifying lens. A scanning arrangement between the viewer and the magnifying lens scans the image of the light-valve array across the field of view of the viewer sufficiently quickly that the viewer perceives the scanned image as a two-dimensional image. In another arrangement a printer is formed by scanning a real image of the diffractive light valve array over a printing or recording medium.