• 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.


The exhibition was beyond expectations and very inspiring. We loved the amount and quality of information provided by the multimedia guide about his life and works, and the fact that it was recorded with the voices of the artist and people near to him. We learned a lot about his motivations, techniques and social-political context. This exhibition made us admire even more Roy Lichtenstein. My son (16) and daughter (20) were very impressed. Congratulations to Tate and all involved! Thanks!

I enjoyed the show. Would have liked to see the quotation at the exit displayed prominently at the entrance. It makes a good starting point for thinking about all art, not just Lichtenstein's.

Like some of the other contributors, I was utterly amazed at the diversity and scope of his work.

I was only aware of his Pop art pieces and my Eyes were opened to his creativity...and to see what inspired him was wonderful to see. I loved his Matisse inspired painting and his Mondrian inspired work.

I enjoyed the exhibition greatly and would have liked to have stayed a lot longer..upon departure I was able to purchase two of the framed pieces in the Shop.

So am very happy!

I forgot to mention that I was surprised that there was no mention of Suerat given Lichtenstein's use of dots and I thought that one of his abstracts appeared to be influenced by Mondrian. Further his early paintings only used primary colours. Still, a brilliant exhibition - wish we could see some of these exhibitions in the south west.

I was going to be in London for a morning meeting and saw the ad for the exhibition in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday edition. I really like pop art so thought I'd come along and was I glad I did. I loved the exhibition. The commentary was superb. It was both informative and personal as well in the sense of having an interview with Lichtenstein and his wife and friends on it. I didn't know Lichtenstein had such a varied portfolio. I loved the ending of the commentary which I think said it all (won't spoil it for those that haven't heard it yet). Your structuring of the exhibition was brilliant. I have to say, being a grumpy old man, that I found the art gallery a bit noisy for my taste; I wish there'd been a T-shirt with the picture you have on this blog.

Thanks so much.

I really enjoyed the exhibition, contrary to expectations. I particularly admired the black and white series, the mirrors, the art deco sculpture and the Japanese paintings. I wish I had used the audio guide to learn more about the personal life of the artist.


I saw this exhibition on the last day and I'm so glad that I did. I was aware of many of his images, but not his influences. I particularly loved his homage to Picasso and the Chinese landscapes. Thank you Tate Modern.

We all really loved the exibition, there was so much that we had never seen before. Blown away by the Chinese landscapes and currently trying to find prints. Luke( 13) was entranced which was brilliant as this was his birthday treat.

Dots and stripes! Not easy on the eye and, no, comic strip art is not for me. However, I did like his art deco sculpture - most surprising. I had no idea he did both.

... I found the whole event so stimulating ... I am a Graphic Design teacher at a secondary school ... my students (who visited separately) also drew inspiration from an artist who is so accessible on one level yet challenging on another ... apart from quite obviously the artwork ... I was particularly impressed with the multimedia guide; a quite superb accompaniment ... the Jazz soundtrack served to really set the vibe ... can anybody advise as to the music used ... I don't know the first thing about Jazz but feel the need to source out some of those majestic sounds ...??


A fascinating and well put together exhibition. I think the War and Romance pictures capture something very special that identify Lichtenstein's uniqueness. He took the mass portrayal of emotion and excitement and put it under a microscope. The art of the comic book, small images skimmed through by teenagers searching out "boyish" excitement (War) or "girlish" emotion (Romance), is reproduced on big canvases laying bare the dots and lines, but nuancing them to heighten the overall effect. And what do we see? An expose of the tawdriness of shallow and false emotion peddled to the mass market? Or does he find something very genuine in comic book iconography; the heart of popular, contemporary (60s) culture. The observer decides.

After this he seems to spend much of his time establishing the Lichtenstein brand and exploiting it. But who can blame him, an artist has to eat! And at least he had a sense of humour.


I have never been a fan of Lichtenstein's work and did not intend to visit the exhibition,but then I thought it would be churlish not to - considering how much trouble and effort the Tate have put into it. I liked the sculptures,and I think Roy Lichtenstein deserved full marks for innovation,but I found his paintings totally without appeal.I never thought black could be so ugly! ( I don't care how many eminent art historians/critics tell me its good - it is not my cup of tea)

What I enjoyed most was the explanation of the originality of the content of his work: the dots, the bold brush strokes, his take on abstract expression . I equally found fascinating the discussion of his perspective of what he was trying to convey to those who experienced his work.

Thank you, Tate!

Enyoyed the breadth of the hang -great to learn of the range of his work and not just see the chestnuts. Triumphant method to counterpose craft reproduction of mass media with a subtle irony of continuous comment from the artist. Makes many detractors seem even shallower than I thought.

Superb Roy Lichtensein exhibition and well worth our trip from Manchester. Great layout which guided us through the various stages of the artist's works.

One small administrative point. As a Tate member do feel that we should have a fast track entrance and not have to queue.


I'm all Benday dotted out!! Best exhibition this year so far!

It was wonderful to have the chance to see his works and to dump some mental baggage and see his importance as a painter as opposed to a 20th, century cliche.


Loved the show. Vibrant and a joyous celebration of Lichtenstein's career. Particularly enjoyed the inclusion of lesser known works. Thank you, it really brightened our day after we had walked the South Bank in dismal rain and wind!

I have been a big fan of Lichtenstein since my teenage years and was very much looking forward to seeing some of his iconic works first hand. Although that was a thrill, overall I found the exhibition disappointing.

I came away not feeling that I had learnt anything new. Key works were absent and I felt a number of opportunities for genuine exposition had been missed. I would have liked to see more of the artist's studies, presented closer to the finished works so that referring from one to the other was more straightforward and less hampered by the crowds. Although some source material was on show (the Wham! comic for example) I would have liked to see a lot more more - why no examples of 50's and 60's Romance Comics for example or of 1960's newspaper small ads?

It would also have been interesting to see his parody works displayed alongside some of the originals - his cubist parody next to an actual cubist painting, his Picasso tribute next to a real Picasso and so on. His early work seemed sadly neglected - other than a strangely random 1950's Crossing the Delaware canvas there wasn't much else other than the 'brushstrokes' room showing some early doodlings which didn't seem to actually be finished works at all, more like testers.

There was no real sense of progression I felt, or an explanation of how he developed his craft. It was fabulous to see his canvasses first hand but I still left with a feeling of slight disappointment and of an opportunity missed. Great art but not a great exhibition.

I remember seeing WHAM at the old Tate when it was first aquired and the impact it had on me ,an impressionable schoolboy.Reviewing his work after so many years and in particular this (wonderful) exhibition leaves me with an element of sadness for this great artist.I had the feeling of a man trapped with his own success and towards the end of his career (for a career it truly was ) an attempt made to reach outside and revisit the passion that drove him to paint all those years ago.Like Michelangelo, peering over the shoulder of Christ in his last 'Pieta' , I felt Lichenstein ,in his last works, attempting to peer, through the haze of comformity, toward a new Light.

Really enjoyed the Lichtenstein especially the relationship with other artists. The paintings were well displayed and each room revealed a different aspect of the work which was more varied than we had imagined. The visit was marred slightly by the number of people accessing different floors of the Tate who, despite appearing in good health and often being much younger than myself, appeared to have very limited use of their legs to the point where they were prepared to wait a long time for a lift and to go up and down until they reached the right floor which was often only one floor up or down from where they started! This caused problems for us as we had our one year old grandson in a buggy and also various other buggy and wheelchair users who had to wait for considerable periods whilst lifts came and went packed full of people who could easily have used the stairs or escalators. I suggest the current signs fruitlessly requesting people to give priority to wheelchairs and buggies be replaced by lifts that are solely for the use of these plus the elderly or infirm. Perhaps signs could also suggest that people could try making use of their lower limbs as they might be surprised at what they could achieve with a minimal amount of effort.


I can't believe it was 2003 when the Hayward Gallery did the last Lichtenstein exhibition in London! and it's the first time I've seen so much of his work all together and I know his early Pop well, especially the War and Romance Room 4, which are iconic Pop images of the 1960's. The most facinating part (for me) was how he developed the stencils made from Aluminium, the patience to drill holes. I always wondered how he had such a steady hand?

It was very brave of the Tate to devote such a Retrospective, because after a while I felt as though I had overdosed in his work. I've always seen him with other Pop Artists and he is best suited (in my mind) to be mixed with Eduardo Palozzi, Andy Warhol and others that can complement than Pop art style.

Many thanks for an interesting exhibition.


A fascinating exhibition. I was confused about Lichtenstein as an artist before I came to the exhibition and whilst I am still somewhat confused I have made some progress in appreciation of him. I was moved especially by the last room - the Chinese style landscapes were truly beautiful. One practical criticism - the audio guide was generally very good but would have been so much better if it had been arranged in strict room order. On some occasions it was difficult to match pictures with commentary.

This was my second visit to Lichtenstein. I was struck the first time, and more so on this occasion, by two things. First, how brilliantly, and radically, Lichtenstein grasped the Zeitgeist in the very process of its formation. The rooms in the exhibition leading up to and including his very famous cartoon strip pictures, "War & Romance", show a creative mind working in extreme focus at the very heart of the modern human condition. These rooms are richly contemplative of a great artist working towards, and then arriving at the peak of his powers. Everything from Warhol to Mad Men begins here. Lichtenstein understood the narrative micro-second of the Now better than any other artist of his era. A picture as simple in its conception and as purely judged in its execution as Golf Ball repaid long, long moments of viewing. Secondly, however, the exhibition also unerringly told how remarkably quickly Lichtenstein's work lost its purpose and ceased developing after that point. There are exceptions, like some of the Artist Studio canvases, but his pastiches of the work of others and then, sadly, of himself quickly devolved into rather barren intellectualism. Expert technically, but the spiritual and emotional returns visibly diminished as one made one's way through the exhibition, until the banal, sterile and frankly boring Chinese cliches at the end. They really are hideously kitsch, and should be locked away in a safe somewhere. Assets, not art. Lichtenstein's greatness is assured, because his was a truly great idea; but this exhibition also showed that was also his one and only great idea.

So interesting to see the early and late works including the Chinese series. I didn't like them but it was great to see them for the first time. Also the ones with the lighter colours. I thought they were lovely, except for the peculiar brush stroke on one of them. Don't know why he daubed that on. A great exhibition that showed me a lot I had never seen. Thank you.

Yesterday I saw the exhibition a second time, having previously taken my little girl - 7 who loved it enough to spend a whole hour in the exhibition,. I must say, walking through the exhibition again and listening to the wonderful commentary and archive material was a life enriching and joyful experience. I gained greater insight and apprecation of the bredth and depth of Roy Lichensteins talent and brilliant exploration and commentary on the world as it was developing around him. The wit and humor, and love of the medium shine through in his own idiosyncratic and visually exciting way., Thanks so much for putting on wonderful, important exhibitions like this one so well.

I thought the Lichtenstein exhibition was wonderful. I don't often use the electronic commentary, but this was particularly helpful. I often found myself agreeing audibly to a comment made which was chiming with my own observation. The duel focus on technical expertise and its philosophical foregrounding was really fruitful - especially with the comments of both Lichtenstein and his wife who were able through their words and the tone of what they said to establish a humane and good-humoured context. your own comments ad those of other commentators were helpful and interesting. I would certainly recommend the use of the commentary - as much as anything else because without it, for anyone like me whose previous knowledge of the artist was limited and somewhat cliched, the significance of the spectacle could easily be lost in admiration of the artist's use of a pleasing popular style.

Thanks again - I got a lot out of the exhibition and a new understanding of what the artist was doing and why. The elegy from his friend, describing him as a warm, well-balanced human beiing, comfortable with him self and his rerelationships with family and friends, rang very true - it is present in his art.

I had absolutely no idea about the range and subtlety of Lichtenstein's work. Although familiar with his ubiquitous painting from the sixties, the later paintings revealed a complex and moving body of work which came as something of a revelation. This was an important exhibition to bring together work from an artist with a complex and varied painterly language.


WOW !!!

Went for the second time yesterday. What a wonderfully exciting exhibition. Was familiar with the 'usual suspects', but many of them I had only seen as prints - which brings things full circle and defeats the object of the artist's intentions. But to see the wonderful landscapes, the perfect/imperfect pictures and other works in their enormity was an untrammelled delight. And the sculpture. "Galatea' is one of the finest pieces of sculpture of any age. This exhibition is one of the two best exhibitions I have seen in my long life. I'm going again before it closes. Thank you for curating it.

A truly excellent exhibition, well laid out and easy to see everything. The audio guide supplemnted the visual experience and was well worth the additional payment, I liked the way the "brush strokes" theme of the first room was continued through the exhibition. Obviously the key works were central, but my daughter and I really enjoyed the Art Deco pieces and the clever idea of finishing with the wonderful Chinese landscapes, coming after the least interesting room was a great touch. I also loved the Rouen Cathedral works, which my daughter remembered from The RA "Pop Art" show but I did not. Thank you!

Absolutely brilliant - I never realised the vast range of styles that L painted in.

I enjoyed the exhibition very much. I am a fan of Roy Liechenstein and it has been a long time since the last exhibition at Hayward Gallery

I was n't overly familiar with the artist before visiting the exhibition but was very impressed both by the range of work on display and the varied use of colour throughout.

What really impressed me and my guest was that so many examples of his work, from throughout his career, had been assembled. Clearly a fantastic amount of work had gone into it, and we were profoundly grateful to all concerned.

I was highly impressed by this show. It was fairly exhaustive and definitely broadened my horizons with regards to Lichtenstein's work.

The evolution of his technique was interesting to witness, as was his familiarity and respect for other artists, as witnessed in his homages.

The pieces I was definitely most impressed by were the landscapes, Chinese landscapes and his final stroke works. There was a certain poignancy in the final abstract stroke works, almost as if he had closed a circle to return to the absolute of the stroke but yet incorporating it with the rigidness of his technicality.

I've definitely left feeling that I've learnt something and I'm keen to squeeze in another visit before it ends.

Enjoyed it and wished I 'd left myself more time. As so often with recent exhibitions here and elsewhere, I have been particularly interested by artists' less known work. Also good to see the scales of pieces I already knew from reproductions.

For me Lichtenstein was just another pop artist I used to read about in the 1960s. Your exhibition brought him to life as an individual and I was surprised at the breadth of his work. I grew up reading the original comics of the 1950s and 1960s, so for me this was an especially evocative exhibition. The sculpture was a surprise and a nice surprise. He could have made a career as a furniture designer (also). But the Chinese drawings and the various brush works although illuminating was not my cup of tea. Thank you for the nice exhibition. I shall visit one more time before it is over.


We were prepared to be amazed but even so were totally blown away by the diversity of his work - the brass sculptures were by far for us the highlight of highlights. And were even more so because of their unexpectedness. Closely followed by the ceramics.... Who knew about them? not us for sure. Starting our Sunday on such a high note set the tone for the rest of our day - thank you!

I cannot remember last enjoying an exhibition as much as I did this one. Every exhibit was terrific. Lichtenstein was an amazing artist. Thank you Tate for bringing this together.

Brilliant exhibition and very enjoyable ... except for the presence of two or three separate families with children who shouted, screamed and were generally badly behaved and, what's worse, largely ignored/indulged by parents. Don't think you can do anything about this but perhaps they might read this and recognise themselves (although I suspect not!).

Amazing to see Lichtenstein's work up close and his progression and experimentation with ides and techniques. Provided lots of cross-curricular ideas for students! Totally inspiring.

This is a fantastic exhibition - but please, please stop people taking photographs (not only here, but throughout Tate). It can be damaging to the pictures when flash is used, it's very annoying (all the clicking, whirring, and flashing), and think about all the postcards you don't sell because people have taken their own snaps. I didn't see any signs forbidding photographs, and I've never seen an attendant stopping a gallery-goer taking a picture. In fact the only time I've seen this happen is when I told someone (at the Van Doesburg show a few years ago) how bloody irritating it was as he methodically shot, with a flash, every picture in the room (he told me where to shove it). Come on Tate, I love you, but enough's enough.

Absolutely loved it. Best yet To see them all together The scale the vision. Such innovation. The art that was trying to deny art Loved the homages to other painters Loved the steel and enamel sculpture

Such a thrill to see some of my favourite paintings in real life and, although we didn't go for the audio guide, the printed material added to our understanding and appreciation. Interesting to see some of the lesser-known work as well - my wife Alwena especially enjoyed the sculpture.

The famous stuff is very much of its time - but what a great time.

A high point in my visits to Tate over the last few years.

Iria felicidades por esta exposición! Espero seguir en contacto contigo, R.Sáez

I found the finished/unfinished section quite interesting. I wonder if L. knew in advance which category each would fall into?

I think the exhibition was well ordered and therefore logical to follow. Like other commentators, my main purpose of visiting the exhibition was to see his less known work. Landscapes are my area of interest. Some of his landscapes were only landscapes because the label said so - and also because to us - the spectators - we have become adept at reading the signs. Others included obvious landscape motifs such as a segment of setting sun.

A most enjoyable moment for me was purely accidental. A young mother spectator stood in front of one of Lichtenstein's nudes. She wore a black and white striped jumper and for a moment I visualised her as part of the composition which also included areas of black and white stripes. I love this kind of accident and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. Thankyou

I enjoyed the show - all the exhibits were pleasing in an unchallenging sort of way. I also enjoyed the commentary plus supplementary pictures on the acoustiguide. However, I got no more pleasure out of any of Lichtenstein's works than I did from the things they were derived from. I'd rather have Picasso than RL's take on him, ditto Matisse, ditto the comics I enjoyed as a kid, ditto the diagrams of chairs etc in catalogues or the art deco designs which I think look better on the buildings they came from. For me he does not add anything. I'm sure the curator's comments are sincerely meant but they strike me as more suitable for Pseuds' Corner. Sorry!

Loved the sixties work and found some of the sculpture very interesting. I also liked the self referencing painting although it did remind me of Patrick Caulfield. The Chinese paintings I found weak and frankly no more than filler.

As usual a superbly presented exhibition that the sixties work made worthwhile. A shame there wasn't more reference to the origina comic book artists used as reference.