• Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962.  Private collection
    Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962

I’m Iria Candela, the co-curator of Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at Tate Modern. Since the exhibition opened there have been some great reviews in the press, but I would also like to hear your opinions. If you have visited the exhibition, what was it like seeing these iconic works face-to-face? Were you surprised by some of Lichtenstein’s lesser-known paintings, or by his sculptures and drawings? Do let me know your views, stories and comments.

I hope you enjoyed this retrospective of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. You can read more about it on my Lichtenstein blog or see what future exhibitions we have at Tate Modern.



Thank you Iria, incredible exhibtion. The multimedia guide was insightful, especially hearing from Roy Lichtensein himself while looking at 'Whaam!' itself.

I was amazed at the diversity of this superb exhibition and enjoyed it far more than I had anticipated. The final room was a revelation and completely unexpected. Thank you.

Excellent exhibition and found the wall commentaries helpful. I particularly liked descriptions of the concepts, the attitude to Abstract Expressionism, the brushstroke as an object rather than as feeling, attitude to women and male/female stereotypes etc. Although I should have used the audio guide to hear Roy Liechtenstein's own words. Well done!

Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. It was really uplifting, so much vibrancy! Also, well set out too. Well done Tate!

Superb. Lichtenstein, along with Norman Rockwell & Edward Hopper has long been one of my favourite artists. I shall visit again!

When I was 15 my father bought me a copy of 'Pop Art', it was a turning point in my life and Whaam! and Cathedral at Rouen transfixed me for hours at a time. I have never seen the real deal and being up close and seeing them on the wall was amazing. Forty years on they still still exceptional and continue to inspire. Congrats to all for a great show

Brilliant show!! It seemed impossible to go into any of the rooms and find something fresh and challenging. I loved the Chinese paintings - what terrific sensitivity, and the mirrors, and the parodies / non parodies - what irony - reworking a Picasso that was a rework of a Delacroix. I had little idea of the breadth of his work. I am desperate to visit again. Thanks Tate - this is why I love to be a member.

This exhibition was fantastic; for me, the best yet. Not only the subject matter, but also the explanations and the layout, which made it all really clear and smooth. It was interesting to see Lichtenstein's creations against the actual comic strips from where he got the material - I wonder what the comic creators ever thought of that? The yuxtapostion technique against freestroke, the stereotyped roles of men and women... great stuff. Superb exhibition!

Having never visited the Tate before our family was really looking forward to this exhibition. We found it really crowded and the limited space made it difficult to see the paintings, especially for the children. The artwork itself was interesting and I really liked the landscapes. Unfortunately I made a newbie mistake and took a non flash photo as I had seen a sign outside that said it was ok to do so, a security man soon told me off leaving me little chance to explain. As I felt like a criminal I deleted it off straight away but as this experience had tainted the enjoyment we left soon afterwards and won't come again. I know it was my fault but genuinely thought I was doing nothing wrong as we hadn't been told it was not allowed and the tickets, guide paperwork and staff said nothing before entering the gallery. Apparently the signs apply to the permenant exhibitions only. Luckily the day was saved by a very enjoyable visit to the Hayward Gallery were numbers were limited in the exhibition and the staff were very clear on entry about everything we needed to know.

A revelation. I had no idea the artist had produced such varied and intriguing work. I found great pleasure in every room, with intellectual stimulation; my emotional responses were chiefly in the last rooms, the nudes, the late use of brushwork, the Chinese meditations. The sculptures were especially exciting.

I was surprised how large the pieces were (particularly Whaam!) and enjoyed the artist studio, romance and war rooms. I liked the way Whaam was displayed with the original pencil draft and the reference material comic book from the 60's it told a great story of the artists process from inspiration through to the finished piece. The exhibition was really well laid out even though it was a bit crowded and quite warm. (not much air!) This was a great exhibition and my first look at a real Lichtenstein! Thanks!

An amazing body of work. A rare opportunity to see a collection that is mainly in the hands of private collectors. A fantastic achievement to all involved. Well done!

I've never been to the Tate before, so this was a double adventure for me this weekend. Amazing to see such iconic works so close up and marvel at the details of how simply they have been done, but with such a dramatic effect. Especially the oversize pictures.

Simply put, this is a once in a lifetime chance to see some groundbreaking artwork, which still influences the world and its media displays even today.

A must see for any art lovers to view these original wonders...

A very well done to the Tate, this display has hit the headlines and will continue to do so. You will get plenty of positive support from all the Critics and Public alike.

Wonderful exhibtion, with a lot of artwork coming from private collections. It gave me the opportunity to know more about Roy Liechtenstein's work,: I saw for the first time the series of mirrors, which are really masterpeaces. The exhibition itself was nice, with clear and valuable comments on walls. Thank you for this delightful visit.


It was such a surprise to see works by Lichtenstein that I'd never seen before. The almost abstract dot landscapes and the wonderful Chinese paintings were uplifting. It has made me see this artist in a completely different light. Thank you Tate for bringing all these works together and curating them so brilliantly.

I absolutely loved the exhibition. Having been a huge Lichtenstein fan since I was a child, his works have always fascinated me, and being able to see them up close and personal was such a joy. I downloaded the App from iTunes and enjoyed wandering around the exhibition listening to the commentaries which was fantastic, and being able to see the paintings up close, like the faint pencil lines and small gaps of the canvas peeking through between blocks of colour felt like a real privilege. I enjoyed every second of it, I could have wandered around all day :)

Having just seen magazine copies of his work previously, it was with great pleasure to see them in the gallery as intended. I really enjoyed most of the work, which was still fresh and stunning, but particularly the beautiful sculptures, especially those in brass. I enjoyed the satirical impressions of other artists' work, especially the Picassos.

The Lichtenstein was fabulous. Taught me a lot of things I did not know about him and showed me unexpected sides to his talent. The little booklet was clever and very useful. I shall return! Kate


I loved the exhibition and the burst of colours, I had seen the war and romance works before and enjoyed seeing new paintings I wasn't aware he had created, especially the abstract. I will be visiting with my son in the next few weeks as he is studying GCSE art and it will give him ideas for his own creations! Thank you.

I absolutely loved the exhibition. Roy Lichenstein is one of my favourite artists. I had seen a few of his sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York a good few years ago and it was much nicer seeing so many pictures, beautifully laid out with very informative descriptions via the mediaguide and wall info.

I did not get to the exhibition but enjoyed seeing the works elsewhere. I have a new appreciation of Lichtenstein and Pop art in general now. They are great works,The size of the old masters and the use of brushstroke and colour reminds much of the abstract exoressionists as well as Rothko's comment 'The simple expression of a complex idea'..nothing could be simpler than a poster,nothing more complex than art that communicates. great Art.

This exhibition was well put together as you would expect from the Tate, but I felt underwhelmed. He made such an impact when I first saw his work in the mid sixties and although it was interesting to see it again, I thought that with the exception of the Chinese inspired works done in the mid 90's, he hadn't moved on. I couldn't help comparing him to David Hockney who regularly tries different things and gets inspired by new technology.

This exhibition was OK. I liked seeing Lichtenstein's work " in the flesh" and his less well known work was certainly new to me. But I couldn't help feeling that the real point of the exhibition was only really to be found in the gift shop. "Brand Lichtenstein". Blockbuster shows are clearly a marketing exercise, but this one seemed to be revelling in. The postcards, mugs, t-shirts, prints, books, fridge magnets etc reveal far more about the work and it's place in the Art World than any of the well thought out comments on the walls of the exhibitions.

I really hoped there would be a media guide for this exhibition as I find it difficult to get to what the Pop artists were trying to do by using commericial graphics (it just looks like advertisements blown up without context). Listening to the commentary in the guide and seeing examples of works on the media player really enriched my enjoyment of the exhibit and gave me an understanding of what Litchenstein was doing with his art and his interest in the art world around him and before him.

Generally very impressed . Preferred his mid period pop art to his Piscasso pastiches. Second onlt to Warhol a a pop artist.

Really enjoyed the exhibition, especially the Chinese landscapes and the art deco sculptures. All the colours were so much truer and brighter than I expected

The exhibition was incredible....! One of the best exhibitions I have attended in quite a long time. I have written a post on my blog about my experience at the exhibition, and it was the first time I have seen many of those paintings in the flesh and it really is an incredible experience..... I liked it so much I might have to visit again before it finishes!!! It would be incredible if anybody who ready this has a look at my post (Art blogs really get shunned for fashion ones :|) and a facebook like would be even more incredible! http://www.karenbuckley.co.uk/2013/03/the-tate-modern-lichtenstein.html

It's very easy to say Lichtenstein was derivative or plagiaristic, but it's not a very interesting viewpoint! For our angle on Roy Fox Lichtenstein wander over to this article (apologies for the shameless plug, but we promise it's all in the name of art).


Hello Iria Although pop art is not really my favourite topic in modern art, I found the exhibition exciting. Having seen the last pop art extensive exhibition years ago in Cologne, I felt another visit would be good. The way the current exhibition flows and is compartmented into different stories makes is a delight to visit and I will definitely come back once more. Furthermore, I discovered completely new pieces which will make a second visit a must.


Hi Iria,

A great exhibition, well done! The multi-media iPhone is a great complement to a vibrant and fascinating exhibition.

Being familiar with Lichtenstein's work from books it was a marvellous surprise to see the scale of his work in reality, some are very large indeed. It was also nice to follow his progress as an artist from room to room.

Highly recommended!

Best, Rob


Thank you for such an exciting exhibition (my first as a member!) thoroughly enjoyed the App, what a great introduction. Didn't take advantage of audio guide on this visit but will do so on next visit with my daughter. Can't wait!

Thank you for the invitation to comment. This exhibition appears to be a lot of people's cup of tea.

I was curious about Lichtenstein, having seen reproductions of his works on countless walls - and having seen some reviews which were not all that flattering. Other artists have found a theme which sells to the public and then continued to produce artworks on that theme throughout their career. John Constable did it for one. Lichtenstein is another. Who can blame them, you have to feed the kids don't you?

Lichtenstein's approach was 'copy comics'; 'use lots of dots.'. He has a good eye for form. However, most of these works are flat in every sense. They don't repay much time spent studying them. The women are all idealised, melting and often helpless. The men are invisible or objects of the women's angst. Get me a psychologist!

Great artists develop their technique. Just before the end of this unexciting exhibition there was a room with a theme of Chinese landscapes. For some reason this sprang to life. Perhaps for a fleeting moment he had attempted to imitate a form of art which matched his own and it worked, though he spoils it by putting little figures in.

Great artists successfully develop their technique. Lichtenstein didn't. There is an interesting quote in the exhibition questioning what makes one piece "art" and another almost identical piece "not art". An answer to this is that one artist has "brand value" ie a name that sells, whereas another doesn't. Damien Hurst can also take an everyday object, put his name to it and make money - but is it art? Similarly Lichenstein turned the comic into 'art' for many people- but not for me.

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition. It covered a wide range of his work and the handbook provided useful background information. The exhibits were displayed to great effect making it possible to view them even in crowded conditions. This is a great project.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. I remember seeing his work back in the sixties at various pop art exhibitions. I particularly enjoyed his Chinese Landscapes. I had not appreciated that he had done this sort of work before and for me the way were one of the best things about the exhibition.

Fun. Great exhibition. I was in New York in the 60s. All very nostalguic. Will go to Exhibition again ... and again.

Fabulous - I went thinking I knew what I was going to get but it illuminated the familiar and introduced great two-dimensional explosions, beautiful minimalist abstraction and subtle, moving reworking of Chinese prints - particularly gorgeous. It's not always the case but the guide was great - I would have got so much less without the explanations of the ideas behind the work - so much more than pastiche, social context, the music and hearing from his widow and his friends. The only disappointment was that there was no poster available of the Chinese pictures - any particular reason why not?


A stunning exhibition, beautifully curated and an important retrospective.

However, having been a fan of Lichtenstein for all my adult life, and being old enough to have been able to engage with his work from the 60s at the time - this show does emphatically demonstrate the explosiveness of his arrival on the scene (rooms 2, 3, 4), but it does also serve to underscore an apparent inability and struggle to develop subsequently, which I have always found a little disappointing and somewhat saddening. This is in no way a criticism of the show itself which lends globally significant space to a worthy candidate in a fantastic venue - definitely a must-see.

Much of the merchandising on the way out left me cold though.

As I had been lead to believe, it was indeed an eye-opener! Always a good thing for an art show - duh - but as I had seen very few of RL's work 'in the flesh' previously it was a truly memorable visit. I will be dragging anyone I can back to see it quite a few times before it closes!

Can I add a hint about a show I really would love to see at Tate Modern - a full retrospective of Ricahrd Diebenkorn!

Stunning, an excellent representation of his work and beautifully and sympathetically staged adding greatly to the exhibition.

This surpassed my expectation - thank you.

I <3 RL.. Great collection & seamless curation... Will definitely try & see it again before it finishes...

This is a fabulous exhibition. The range of Lichtenstein's work was captured with perfection and the influences that inspired him. Each room is themed with such sensitivity; the war-themed work, the romantic images, the geometric lines, the Chinese landscapes and the masterpiece, "Interior with Water lilies". So interesting to see the Benday dots close up. I didn't know that Lichtenstein produced sculpture and loved it, especially the pieces with the shades of jazz and Art Déco ... You should be proud! I'm going again ...

A stunning exhibition! Not only enjoyed immensely by myself but my three children too! We shall return!

My first experience of Lichtenstein was in the Tate's huge 54/64 exhibition (strangely omitted from the chronology in the catalogue) when, after trecking through the abstract expressionists, he was like a cold shower in a heat wave - utterly invigorating. It was good to find that, after 49 years, that excitement was still there. What did I particularly enjoy? 1) The landscapes, particularly the non dot ones using other materials the effect of which was quite unreproducible on the page. 2) The examples of his working processes - it's always good to see the processes an artist goes through to get to the finished article and these were particularly well-chosen examples which illustrated what a meticulous craftsman Lichtenstein was. 3) The Chinese paintings, with which I was unfamiliar. The sheer size and minimalism of them carried the same impact of Rothko or late Miro, the ability to lose yourself in the canvas.

Could have done with less of the nudes - they were so desexualised that they merely emphasised the comic book origins and emotional distance of Lichtenstein's more quotidian output.

I went to this exhibition on the same day as my visit to the Jose Parla exhibition, and perhaps this has affected how I viewed the Lichtenstein.

An early question in my notes – Is Lichtenstein painting his pictures and at the same time trying to engage with his audience or has he found an iconic style which brings him fame and fortune? is the artist interested in the spectator? I believe he is not, making his name etc was. Once this style is finessed, it is repeated over and over again. I was ‘unconnected’ with ‘blank’ emotion.

Another question appearing – Where is the creativity, once he has his style? Are the War and Romance painting a form of plagiarism?

The two wall Explosions and Head with Blue Shadow were striking reminding me of similar works by Frank Stella.

For me, the most interesting painting was his Self Portrait 1978, my notes ‘at last a really creative piece’.

I enjoyed the show and the playfulness and humour of much of the work.

It was interesting to see the work evolve and I was unaware of the connections L. made to other painters from art history. In this way I felt a little ambivalent: as there was definitely something new to be made of the connections but on the other hand it felt like there was something important missing from all that referencing.

I kind of felt this was an artist never quite at ease with his identity as a painter; maybe a little too much irony, maybe too much surface.

I enjoyed it more than my friend, me favouring the fun, humour and vivacity of it all, she, a bit more cynical.

Good show though!