• 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.


Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, even though it was a busy Saturday.

I will be back to see it again soon, perhaps on a quieter day.

If this is a retrospective, why isn't there a single example of his work prior to 1960?

Agree with most comments so far - revelation,superb, well layed out etc etc.

But must also concur with Bookwork contributer who identified the overcrowding. I was there on Saturday afternoon with a timed prebooked ticket. Had to fight my way round the exhibition and views of most of the works were impeded.

Considering the cost and the fact that entry was being managed this was unfortunate to say the least. I too hade been to The Hayward to see Light Show. Timed prebooked tickets agin but on this occassion no overcrowding. The Hayward was a much superior experience.

So , great exhibition but poorly managed for customers.

I loved the exhibition. The later nudes were wonderful & I loved the juxtaposition of the early& later abstract works. Well worth revisiting. Quite fulfilling. The landscapes/seascapes were so calming.


Went on Friday night with my 12 year old son. He's been desperate to see it since you opened. We were both blown away to be honest. I first saw wham on a school trip about thirty years ago and it made me understand the power of art for the first time. Over the years I've seen several of these pieces in their home galleries but it was wonderful to see them again under one roof. My son was transfixed the whole way round and loved the audio guide as well. You should be congratulated on a fantastic exhibition, it made us both realise how lucky we are to be members. We'll be back to see it again soon!

The RL exibit was terrific. The depth of RL's art knowledge and appreciation is only equaled by his facile application of "dotist" painting style. He was a brave painter and is now a unique artist.


Loved, loved,loved the exhibition and was excited to see a side of his work I'd not known much about. However, the whole thing would have been vastly improved if we'd been able to examine any piece without constant buffeting, shoving and some rather extreme displays of bad manners (by staff too). The crowds were insane. I felt that far too many tickets had been sold for the slot and this minimised our enjoyment somewhat.

This was a very well organised and curated exhibition.We arrived on Tuesday late morning and the exhibition was well attended but not overcrowded. Real thought and sensitivity had informed the layout of the rooms.I enjoyed some of the more daring juxtapositions,such as placing the very early work alongside the late pieces.The displays explored the sheer scale and exuberance of the pieces. Paradoxically,Lichtenstein's work does not work that well in reproduction;close inspection of the pieces reveals variations in the texture and surface;the artist's sheer enjoyment of making black lines and saturated colour on white canvas.The way the work was set out allows the visitor to look closely at the surfaces -this is the chief reason for visiting an exhibition rather than relying on reproduction.It was illuminating to look at the Picasso's in the permanent collection afterwards. A great show -congratulations to all who made this exhibition possible!

Great show. I've admired Lichtenstein since I was a student in the '60s (Wham! on the wall) and was delighted at the prospect of a large retrospective, but the actuality was even better. You did very well. The audio was excellent. I'll go again.

I really enjoyed this exhibition, It was well organised, the timed entry to the gallery worked well and the numbers allowed in at any one time enabled me to look at the pictures properly (ie not fighting my way through too many people to get a proper look). There were far more pictures than I expected which was a bonus and the accompanying notes and guides on the walls were really helpful. I didn't use the audio guide while there, but had downloaded and listened to the app beforehand and had watched the recent BBC4 programme on this exhibition. That provided enough background information to really enjoy looking at the pictures. I am looking forward to a return visit in due course.

I noticed that quite a few of the works are in private hands and I suppose having a Lichtenstein on the wall makes a nice addition to any home? Resale value aside though would you really want two of them? The exhibition made me realise that whilst I find that one Lichtenstein is great, two is just too many. His work really does seem to suffer from diminishing returns and after a couple of rooms I was thinking, yes I get it now, move on. But he doesn't move on, not for decades. It's an arresting visual style and there are no end of imitators filling galleries in Hoxton but I couldn't help feeling that you could discover all you need to know about Lichtenstein just by looking at a single painting from the Tate's permanent collection.

Our Tate membership informed us this exhibition was on and allowed us 1) to visit an exhibition we wouldn't have chosen 2) to experience late Tate:- on both of these and our enjoyment 9 out of 10! It was quiet, a good display of the artist's work and I'm going to revisit as I didn't have enough time to fully appreciate everything. Thanks for an impromptu, enjoyable, enlightening Saturday night. Well done the Arts Council of England!!

A great exhibition - vibrant and enjoyable and hung to show the best of it.

Fab exhibition, I absolutely loved it. Only criticism being the choice of postcards, wished there had been some of the lesser known works too.

Fabulous exhibition! I have a print of 'As I opened fire...' on my wall and it was so exciting too see all the originals grouped together in the 13 rooms. I'm even more of a fan of RL than I was before... Thanks so much for a very rewarding experience.

I was introduced to Lichtenstein by my daghters A-level course having only been slightly aware of him beforehand. To see how large the paintings are was my first surprise and how accessible they are. Although I may not understand all the 'depth' they have, I found the exhibition exhilarating due to the bold colours and graphic design. Well worth a visit.


Oops! I have no wish to be lynched and cannot fault the presentation of Lichtenstein's work by the Tate but I have to confess that I couldn't get out quickly enough. The only works worth lingering over were the Chinese landscapes which were very cleverly done and beautiful to look at. I and my brothers were copying pictures from comics and especially the Disney characters in the 40s and my doodles when I am waiting to speak to someone on the phone are just like Roy's without the colour. So, WHAT is so special about copying someone else's work? The people who did the original drawings for the comics had to draw hundreds of pictures and were paid a pittance. What idiot decided that these copies were worth millions. The printing process used for those old comics was very clever, producing pictures that were simple, uncluttered and eye catching, that's why my brothers and I used to copy them and then paint them. So, Lichtenstein used the same process but on a vast scale - it doesn't work! The process was clever because you COULDN'T see the dots - just the colours and shadings. The pictures in the exhibition made me feel dizzy and I couldn't look at them for more than a couple of seconds. However, we went on the Tate to Tate ferry - a civilised way to travel - to see the Schwitters Exhibition. Now that was REALLY worth a visit and so interesting and original. We probably spent more time in each room there than we spent looking at the whole of the Lichtenstein exhibition. Sorry but I've seen all that comic stuff before.

Am surprised to read comment left by 'bookworm' perhaps you could set a good example to your children by accepting when you are in the wrong with a good grace and move on.

The exhibition was super.

Now I think some art is rather like pop music - in that it provokes memories and associations. I was at Univerity in the early 70s and so Lichtenstein is forever associated in my mind with that time. I was so glad to see things 'full size' - and here is an artist who can only make statements 'large'. Ok so alot of it is highly derivative but there is a lot of adaptaion and development. Oh thos sculptures - how wonderful were they - didn't know about them at all. Interesting to see how his art changed over time and not always for the better - to my mind deterioration really set in from the mid to late 1980s - had he run out of ideas or just sources for 'inspiration'?

Lichtenstein is not only my favourite artist but an inspiration to my art. I thought the retrospective was brilliantly thought out, not only organised by theme but broadly chronologically. This allowed me to see Lichtenstein's responses to popular culture (Art Deco, advertising, war comics and gender stereotypes) and also his work that experimented with style, form and technique. The audiobook further enhanced the experience as I was pleased to hear from the artist himself. Personally, I thought I knew a lot about Lichtenstein but after seeing some of his lesser-known works, I have discovered a lot about his life and developed a new love for his artwork.


What a great exhibition. It was really interesting to see unfamiliar work by Lichtenstein, such as the sculpture and the Japanese inspired pieces. Also to see how he referenced other artists. The choice of jazz on the audio guide was brilliant.

Great exhibition , travelled down from Sheffield specially for it and wasn't disappointed. Bought several items from the gift shop although disappointed with the prints chosen for the T shirts. Have booked the Glam exhibition at Tate Liverpool in a few weeks. Keep them coming.

Well done Iris. The exhibition has really sold me on Roy and his work. His visual technique draws you into his commenting on the situation of the day, and his hommage to other masters like Picasso. The audio-guide as ever was very informative.

I went to this exhibition as an agnostic, somewhat indifferent to Lichtenstein. I came out a total convert. I didn't 'get' him at all, but to the credit of this show, I now feel informed and excited by his oeuvre.... Exhilarating stuff! Thank you.

Brilliant exhibition Iria - thank you. Thoughtful texts that got straight to the point. And really excellent progression of ideas from each room to the next. I wasn't a Lichtenstein aficionado, but I was blown away by what I saw - thanks not only to the work itself, but also to some really well thought-out hanging and explanation.

Before this exhibition, I thought that Lichtenstein was just a fairly trivial pop artist, but after it I realise that there was so much more to his work. I enjoyed it immensely and thought the galleries were set out well to make it vibrant and interesting.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and really discovered Liechtenstein beyond what his most famous paintings. My only regrets was that as I was there on a sunday afternoon, the exhibition was packed and there were kids running everywhere! I wish I would have visited the exhibition on a week day!

We absolutely adored the Lichtenstein exhibition; such a vast and well-appointed collection. The only complaint would be that far too many people were let into the exhibition at any given time and, as a result, you were left either being hustled through or without an inch of standing space to truly appreciate the works (particularly in the smaller exhibition rooms which often held some of the most interesting pieces). Although we appreciate that the exhibition is on for a limited time only and is, of course, extremely popular, better monitoring of the number of people allowed through at a time would have made the experience all the more enjoyable.

I was pleasantly suprised by the amount of works on display. I was especially struck by how Liechtenstein was influenced by other artists, something you can only pick up in a retrospective such as this one. Well done to the curators.

A nicely curated exhibition (although oversold on Sunday 17 March). Admittedly, Lichtenstein is not particularly complex as a painter and the ideological background of his work is relatively straightforward. Nonetheless, a number of exhibits were revealing: in particular the section "Art forArt's sake", which includes pop versions of classic works was fascinating (esp. Laocon and Cubic Life) as well as the section with the Landscapes. Quite interesting was also the last section with influences from Chinese Art as well as the paintinsg qua objects, which I found very original (e.g. The portable radio).

The standard and more well known themes were nicely presented too. Overall a fun exhibition to watch - I would be most interested in an exhibition contraposing the "Art for Art's sake" theme with the originals from which Lichtenstein drew inspiration - I think such exhibitions add signficant value in illustrating continuity across the History of art.

I walked round the Lichtentstein retrospective with an ever-broadening grin on my face. It was a joyous occasion. For me, it was the most exciting exhibition I had visited at a Tate gallery since Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec back in 2006. I knew Lichtenstein’s work mainly in reproduction and I was unprepared for the sheer scale of many of the paintings; they delighted me, they spoke to me as a creature of the twentieth century referring to the vernacular of my life-experience in the way that the work of many contemporaneous artists does not. Particularly illuminating were the early works from the late fifties when the artist was struggling, and failing, to make sense of Abstract Expressionism. Years ago I visited the Dalí collection in Figures and my appreciation of that artist increased considerably as I realised the range of style he encompassed over his lifetime. Similarly with this Lichtenstein retrospective, my appreciation of this artist’s talent has increased by an order of magnitude. I loved the three dimensional work in all its variety, particularly the Modern Sculpture series from the mid sixties: an affectionate pastiche of Hollywood Art Deco. I loved his (gently mocking?) allusions to art history, particularly Mondrian, Monet, Matisse and of course Picasso. By happy coincidence the Courtauld was showing a selection of early Picassos from 1901. The contrast produced an exhilarating counterpoint. I travelled down from the north on a cold wet Saturday to visit this exhibition and I am grateful to the sponsors for facilitating the bringing together so many works from far and wide. I shall come back before it closes and wallow once more in the warmth of this pictorial background to my life. A month earlier I was at the Royal Academy for the Manet Portraits. I love portraiture, I like Manet and I have a bit of a thing going for Berthe Morrisot so the paintings pleased me. Struggling through crowds to get close to a painting did not. The Tate experience was so much more relaxed.


Havent been to a Litchtenstein exhibition for about twenty years or so when we took the girls to " The Tate " where there was an exhibition of modern art including Hockney, Iitchenstein et al. We took the girls to exhibitions when ever we could, unfortunately one daughter turned out to be an actress and the other an artist. Oh well never mind, it's the art that counts, they are well but poor ,as is there Dad.

As a member, I have been to the exhibition on a few occasions already and enjoyed the experience each time. To see Lichtenstein's paintings close-up really adds to an understanding of his art work, plus I was not familiar with some of his work, in particular the Chinese Landscapes. The whole experience is further enhanced by having each room organised by theme. I especially enjoyed the War and Romance room where the paintings are juxtaposed to highlight his intentional use of cliches to critique male/female gender roles in comics through paintings such as 'Whaam!' and the 'The Drowning Girl'.

A superb exhibition!!

I didn't know a lot about Lichtenstein, and purposefully did no research (so that I could learn from the exhibition). It was expertly done, the guidebook didn't give away too much and allowed you to explore his personality as well as his art and the exhibition layout provided plenty of surprises around each corner. I never knew he has so many styles or art and they were displayed in such a way that every room / corner threw up something new. really enjoyed it and feel like I know the guy!

Great exhibition, good audio guide, enjoyed the connections to the re-interpreted artist works.

The exhibition portrays Lichtensteins work and thought process clearly, I will be back to review again, many thanks


The iconic works were iconic and so it was difficult at times to do more than register the presence of something that one already knew. The lesser known works had a tendency to appropriate other styles in a detached, Post-modern way. So it was difficult to locate the ‘real’ Lichtenstein. But this may have been the point...

Francis Glibbery's picture

I was at the show yesterday. I'd gone because I thought I ought to. I work in the design and communications industry! I had my eyes opened. My previous view of Lichtenstein's work had been too narrow. Now I can see him for what he was: a twentieth-century master. Thanks for removing the scales!!

Thank you for organizing such a wonderful exhibition. I wasn't sure what to expect, given I know so little about him but I have become a fan.

There is something for everyone - whether you are a serious art lover or just love something because you do. Lots of fun, quirky pieces. [ I fell in love with the black and whites, and his take on modernism. Who would have thought a ball of yarn could incite so much excitement!]

I can't wait to visit the exhibition again.


Clever and surprising! I'd never investigated Lichtenstein before so I was very pleased to have the chance to view so many of his works in one place. From his iconic pieces to others that I have never seen, all the art was fascinating and enjoyable to experience. I loved his pastiche/homage pieces very much! And the fact that Lichtenstein worked by hand had always escaped me before. It was definitely an eye opener into the workings of a truly brilliant mind. I shall be coming again soon to show my son this exhibition as I know he will appreciate it too. Thankyou Iria, for the opportunity to enjoy this artist.


I decided to visit the Tate to see "A Bigger Splash", but when I saw the Lichtenstein exhibition advertised I decided to see that too. It turned out that I enjoyed Lichtenstein more! I had seen pictures of some of his work, but had no idea that he had done so many paintings. I'm certainly not an art expert - just someone who knows what they like, and this exhibition certainly caught my imagination. I took particular delight in Room 7 - Art about Art, and one of my favourites was "Frolic". A very curvy lady with blond hair "frolicing" on the beach! Also very taken with Portrait Tryptych, with the three portraits painted in very different styles. Not only all of this, but the bronze and bronze sculptures too. To me, a wonderful exhibition and a total delight - thank you Tate Modern.

Utterly brilliant. Lichtenstein was a genius. It was stunning to see the size of the originals and the brilliance of colour that his paintings still retain. His creations no doubt required immense skill and time to execute. The lovely surprise for me was his brass sculptures (helped by the fact that Art Deco is itself pleasing in all aspects) and his "homage" to traditional Chinese art. I will go to this exhibition a few more times before it ends. This was as pleasing to me as Hirst was displeasing. Congratulations to Tate and the Curator. 10/10.

The exhibition was wonderful, thank you. What made it ever better was that I was proposed to by the 'The Engagement' piece! There was quite a crowd! I'm so delighted, it was the best day ever and the Tate Modern, the exhibition and that painting will always be very special to us both. Thank you for such wonderful memories.


Really enjoyed this exhibition, one of the best I have seen at the Tate. Going on a Weds morning helped, also seeing such big artworks then being able to get up close to see all the detail of the dots. I was suprised at the range of works on show, and loved the sea scapes and Chinese style views - so unexpected.

Absolutely superb exhibition. To superimpose one item of everydays life or focusing on a facet of a comic book was a simple idea with enormous impact. Tongue in cheek artist with oozing talent, bringing enourmous joy and "whow" factor to the onlooker. His painting-beginnings are very poor and by overpainting his successful genre with paint (which again is poor), was perhaps him saying to us: "What did I need this for?" " I am off to the Bank!!"

The exhibition was wonderful. The tape recording that we hired at the door that we listened to as we wandered from room to room was most informative but sometimes out of sequence. We had to retrace our steps on a couple of occasions to look at a picture that we had passed a while earlier. This was rather annoying. My husband and I did however spend a wonderful hour learning about the cleverness of Lichtenstein and were amazed at his enormous talent.