• 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.


Wonderful exhibition. Fascinating to see Lichtenstein's development over the years, the use of different materials, the influence of other artists and styles and the range of other items. Also, particularly interesting to see the sequence of three pictures showing the stages of transition of a female face into a Mondrian-style work. Slightly surprised that the exhibition did not seem to include material that was in the Tate magazine (eg cuttings of girl with ball). Sadly, the whole exhibition was spoilt for me by the lack of catalogues in the shop. I left my details in the hope that I might get one later, but I was left with the impression that this might not happen. Annoying.

I was glad I went and admire his skill and humour and use of colour but can't say that I was really engaged by the works on display. The exceptions to this were the paintings in Room 1-the brushstroke paintings and the 3 pieces from 1997 in Room 12 including Interior with Nude Leaving (no postcards of these three unfortunately). By the way, was I the only one there who did not know what magna is? My ignorance didn't limit my enjoyment but a brief note would have ended my puzzlement! We went on to visit the Saloua Raouda Choucair exhibition.which offered much more pleasure and enjoyment and engaged more than my brain.

Some of it I loved, the Love & War room = fantastic, didn't like the work channelling Picasso at all, but was blown away by the Chinese paintings, really very special. My son, 23, found some of the work reminiscent of GCSE art ' paint something in the style of Lichtenstein' . I too wondered about the plagiarism aspect, guessing that was why it was bratatat?

On the whole great show with some eye openers and some rush pasts....

Thank you so much for such a wonderful exhibition. Lets face it, we were all there with the same purpose, to see 'Whaam!' but the truth is that we were overwhelmed by everything else, absolutely fantastic. It gave us so much to talk about. One of the highlights was the last room with the Japanese paintings, delightful and inspirational. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

It's not 'deep' art: Lichtenstein seems to have been more interested in commercial success. However, it's a witty take & thoroughly enjoyable!

Dear Iria Such an amazing exhibition and I was extremely impressed by the last room, not only was an amazing end, because seems like such a peaceful part of Lichtenstein work and after such an amazing journey through all his work it ended in such positive energy. And a complete new side of his work to me. thank you! Congratulations for this great job! Karla

Family of 5 visited with a mix of converted and dubious popart lovers and at the end we all come away happy with very different likes and dislikes. Its fair to say most of us were aware of the "war and romance" room most of all and not so aware of room in a room/chinese work so a pleasure all round. Whilst very busy on a Sunday afternoon there was sufficient space most of the time. Like all exhibitions there are things we come away with that could be different..more seats (presumably more cluttered?),no photos (clearly documented but I understand copyright) but for my daughter it was not enough framed pictures in the shop eg MMouse+ the big nudes and I wonder if these are available at another time? Overall 9/10

I thought it was decent, I liked his sculptures, and his techniques used, but I cannot say I was amazed by it. It felt quite short too.

I have been to the Tate Modern quite a number of times and this was the best exhibition that I have been to. Whilst I was a bit dubious about the ticket price this was definately value for money, with 13 rooms to view. Lictenstein is my favourite artist and I have completed a number of studies on his work. There was not only a large number of his signature pieces but a number of works and themes I hadn't encoutered before. Interior with Waterlillies remains my favourite. This is a great exhibition and I thoroughly recommend it!!

I have been to the exhibition 3 x, each time with new insight, the first time I was interested in the dots, the colours, the different sizes, the second time I took the iplayer to learn more about him as a person and his influences and then yesterday I just enjoyed the textures, colours, and references he had in his work. Thank you for a great exhibition.


I found this exhibition truly excellent ! Very well laid out works, not too many in each room and not too many rooms. Each room had a very good introduction, concise and to the point (I never take the recorded guide thing - I've always been disappointed when I've done so). I went May 6, there were not many people therefore plenty of room to move about and look properly at each work. I always liked Lichtenstein but never knew that much about him, so I discovered a lot of very interesting facts and a lot of different types of pictures. It was fabulous also to have so many works from private collections. I loved the sculptures, especially the art deco ones, and I totally adored the Chinese pictures. Fan-Tas-Tic !

I really enjoyed Lichtenstein's reinterpretations of other famous art works in the art about art room. It really brought home the strength of his painterly language. Would have been helpful to have a reference on the wall to the original artist and painting. Excellent exhibition.

Was amazing. I did a 9 hour roundtrip drive yesterday (was cheaper than the train) and it was more than worth it. Was great to see the Chinese works alongside the more iconic works. Getting to see Sunrise up close was amazing.

I think I missed mustard on white though

In my view, Lichtenstein was, is, and always will be, a collectors' artists. The only interesting work in the exhibition is 'Look Mickey,' which shows the artist painfully evolving the faux-naif gestures of all his later work, designed so carefully to appeal to the false consciousness of his buyers.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The paintings were fab and a lot of unexpected stuff too. I will definitely becoming back to the Tate. x

That was my special trip to London to see this retrospective, however not first large Lichtenstein exposition I have seen. Good organization allowing to learn evolution of artist. Interesting was to see former abstract compositions, so unlike to main body of work. Really enjoyed it.

Walking in & seeing Whaam at the back of the room was really a whaam moment, was such a delight to see a piece I've admired and smiled at right in front of me! Really informative & excellent to see his other pieces too!

We throughly enjoyed this exhibition. Well laid out and good explanations. Well done Tate

I, and my children aged 8 and 13, really enjoyed this exhibition. It was well set out, with helpful explanatory notes. I was aware of some of Lichtenstein's bigger works based on comics, but not his early and late works or his sculpture, all of which were very interesting. My children were so enthusiastic that they have both taken the excellent little accompanying book sold in the shop to school to show their fellow pupils/teachers. All in all, an excellent experience, for which many thanks.

We love the boldness of the painter. We visited the exhibition recently and have particularly enjoyed the lesser known works, such as the Chinese landscapes and the inspirational pieces where Lichtenstein acknowledges Picasso’s and Matisse’s works.

An excellent exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein's work - thank you! It revealed much more about the depth of his later work than I was aware of, and his wit really shone through.

Being a great admirer of Roy Lichtenstein, I indeed had the pleasure of visiting the Tate Modern exhibition on Saturday the 27th of April 2013. Lichtenstein was brought to my attention meanly by books and other publications first. The most recent of those was “On the occasion of the exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: Beginning to End at the Fundación Juan March (www.march.es), Madrid, February 2 – 20 May, 2007”. I really am very grateful for this great retrospective exhibition. It made me feel much closer to his work. I specially liked the thematic approach of Tate Modern in presenting Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings to the public. To be honest, if I ever had to make a choice as to what would be my favourite, it would be very difficult to make up my mind. I feel touched by every single painting, be it in very different ways. Each painting shows another facet of the painter and each one of them makes me feel happy in a certain way. I very much liked it. Thanks!

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I support all the positive comments about the exhibition: the experience made me re-evaluate pop art and opened up some really interesting trails to follow about how I engage with visual art. What I absolutely hated was the enforced 'exit through the gift shop' which left a really nasty taste. If I've missed something and it was 'ironic' - fair enough, but I suspect it's just a cynical move. If I want to buy something as a memento, or to enhance the visit, I'll happily do so, but at a pace of my own choosing. Please, please, stop it, Tate. Leave us to shop in the larger space downstairs, and give us (intelligent) punters a breathing space before attempting to part us with more of our cash.

Hello Iria, The exhibition was not only a fantastic but huge collection of work. I dont have anything profound to say about the exhibition other than that I had absolutely no idea about some of Lichtensteins more 'experimental' pieces, and for me, they were as interesting; if not more interesting; than his more famous work.

I went this Saturday which was pretty hectic, but understandably so. I personally don't mind when its busy on a weekend because its better for the Tate group. If I needed a quieter visit, Id have gone in the week.

Took my son to the Heyward to see Lichtenstein when he was still at college. He took his Lichtenstein print, Mead composition book and postcards with him when he left to work in the Netherlands five years ago.Visiting with him was a wonderful experience, a celebration of how the familiar can rejoin you at different points of your life and still excite you. I went three times and laughed out loud at the goldfish every one.

A perfect start to a great weekend away in London. The exhibition was stunning, quite incredible that you can get so near to so many famous images. The thing I find fascinating about some of the paintings is just how big they are, When you see the images in a book you really don't have any idea of scale. Must say though, looking at all those dots did give me a bit of a headache after a while, I was certain some stereoscopic 3D message was going to be hidden in there somewhere!

As a regular visitor to the Tate I thought I should go and see Lichtenstein to try and educate myself a bit more on his works. Obviously, like Warhol, he is particularly famous for certain images such as Wham! however I wanted to see his less famous works to better understand his thought processes and what drove him to dedicate his life to this style of painting. I must say out of all the exhibitions I have been too, I felt very unemotional seeing his paintings. This obviously had something to do with how the medium of paint is applied to the canvas emulating a screen print with no noticeable brush strokes and block colour, dots and lines. I also think that this makes the viewer notice the subject more so that it takes centre stage. Lichtenstein painted inanimate objects in a satirical way at a poignant time in history. I had just finished reading The Help which looks at the civil rights movement in the States and Kennedy's murder and I tried to think back to this time of change in the US when technological advancements were being made, the war in Vietnam and men on the moon, I think Lichtenstein was largely in the right place at the right time and so his pictures are in fact a social commentary during a time of change. However he must be revered for dedicating his life to art and making himself immortal in this way. The standout images for me had to be his works towards the end of his career. I particularly loved his self portrait - very ironic that the observer is looking back at themselves in a mirror. I also loved the paintings before he died that are simply brush strokes on canvas and I found these to be the most emotive. I felt quite sad at the end of the exhibition. Its almost as if Lichtenstein was struggling with this idea of expressing greater freedom on canvas and only did it right at the end of his career. I think maybe he continued with the pop art genre because it was highly commercial and did not follow his heart as much as he would have liked in his work. A very well thought out exhibition - although I managed to miss room 2 and had to walk back through the exhibition! Well done The Tate. I am really looking forward to seeing Matisse Cut outs this week. :)

He is one of my favourite artists, coming to see his exhibition was one of my birthday presents and the work did not disappoint. The background information in the guide and on the walls was really insightful and helped myself and my boyfriend grasp much more about the man behind the paintings and the paintings themselves. My only complaint / query is where is 'Girl with Hair Ribbon' it's my absolute favourite so was just a bit disappointed it wasn't there. Other than that it was stunning, so pleased I was able to see it.

Enjoyed every bit of the exhibition; however, it was a little disappointing that the credit card machine wasn't working- would have enjoyed the exhibit even more with an audio guide!


I waited and waited to see the Licthenstein retrospective, hoping to beat the crows. One sunny Sunday came around when my friend and I were both free and keen to see Licthensetein, but despite the great weather there were still huge crowds wanting to spend the afternoon inside at the Tate.

It certainly didn't disappoint. We were both amazed at the size of some of the works, and the breadth of works shown. As well as all the famous instantly recognisable works there were some surprises and some I had never seen or heard of. I think he's one of the best modern artists.

Licthenstein was well worth the visit, and well worth sacrificing time in the sun. I hope to be able to make it back before the exhibition closes as there is so much to take in and one afternoon - or day - doesn't do it justice.

An excellent exhibition. I found the accompanying sound commentary especially valuable.


I think Tate did a brilliant job with this exhibition but, alas, Lichenstein disappointed - he had one big idea and half a dozen minor ideas - basically he had nothing to say - you don't parody abstract expressionism unless you can actually paint - the Tate's brilliant juxtaposition was cruel

Took me back to the 60s but also added entirely new (to me) aspects of the artist's work, especially the Chinese paintings toward the end. A well presented exhibition although I could have done without some of the intellectual mumbo-jumbo mixed in with the more useful information on the walls. Ah well, I guess curators feel obliged to tell visitors what to think ... The only real disappointment was the fact that the catalogue was sold out. I've been to every major exhibition in Europe during the last ten years or so, and this has never happened to me before. I was kindly invited by the sales staff to order the book from the Tate shop online, which I did - with an extra charge of nine pounds added for packing and postage!

This is a wonderful exhibition, one of Tate's best. The use of space and the way the works are grouped add hugely to the viewer's enjoyment and education. One can see how his early works demonstrated the use of colour, proportion and brushwork evident in his later pop art. A chronological hang would have led visitors to rush through the early period to find more familiar works.

Yet the placement of the 'war and romance' grouping is so clever that it evokes an involuntary gasp as one confronts 'Whaam' and 'Bratatat'; however often one has seen reproductions and individual paintings, grouping the works in this powerful way is able to shock, surprise and please in equal proportion.

There are unexpected pleasures here, too. I loved the 'modern' paintings and sculptures, the artist's take on New York deco. In fact, I enjoyed every single piece in this show. We went around twice and will no doubt visit again.

I can now appreciate my school art teacher's sense of incredulity when he saw many of these works for the first time at the Tate in 1968.

I was fascinated by Lichtenstein's references to other artists and his sculpture, even though they seemed to solid versions of his paintings rather than three dimensional art works. As a sculptor I am now inspired to use 'Imperfect painting' as a jumping off point and see if I can make it fully 3D.

An excellent exhibition, which taught me a lot about the artist's life as well as his work. I was particularly impressed with the 'Perfect/Imperfect' series of paintings, which sparked lots of thoughts about the limit of the artwork, and deeper issues of 'parergonality,' as real (and imagined) lines extended beyond the rectangular edges of the paintings. I also enjoyed observing the many influences on Lichtenstein's work by artists such as Mondrian, Matisse, Monet and Picasso and think it would be wonderful to have a trans-national, group exhibition of these artists' works - and those of their successors - presented in conversation with one another.

Visited exhibition with American friend as guest. Very impressed. Excellent selection of works, well displayed, liked the flow through the rooms. Used the audio guide, which I was also very impressed by. Length of audio clips for each picture or item just right, beautifully edited. Well done.

Second visit and just as good second time round. This time we brought our 14 month old daughter along too. She loved the explosions!

A superb show, but please can you make the labels on the wall larger to read and also stick better to the wall - several of the labels were tatty with letters missing. Labelling is extremely poor in many British exhibitions, usually for one or more of the following reasons: type too small, type does not stand out against coloured background, labels too low (e.g. at floor level in some museums) or labels poorly lit (sometimes in shade). It does seem extraordinary to me that exhibition curators have not found the ideal formula for labels which will suit the majority of people, including those like me who are older and whose sight, while reasonable is no longer 100%.

Reverting to the show, many of the large paintings draw one into the scene, almost as if you are standing in the room with the painter. Lichtenstein is primarily a graphic artist with very flat surfaces and only rarely any attempt at depth other than through perspective. Use of heavy black outline is a main feature except in the Chinese-style paintings. But all in all a remarkable artist.

I really enjoyed this exhibition. It was really nice to see some of his less popular work like the Chinese landscapes. I liked the way the exhibition was displayed with each room having a theme. I thought the information leaflet was very insightful, detailing how Lichtenstein was influenced by other artists and showed how his work evolved. I will be going again ....


Thank you for such a fabulous and well organised exhibition. We visited yesterday and so enjoyed seeing such iconic art 'in person'. The wall descriptions were really helpful and insightful too. It was our first visit to the Tate Modern and we were impressed - well worth the train journey from Cardiff! Thank you very much!

This exhibition far exceeded my expectations. I thought I knew a good deal about his work but found I knew very little. The work was so well displayed and was a joy to see. I hope to re-visit before the exhibition closes.

A show of this enormous scale defeats its own purpose by standing in counter contrast to the inherent disposability of pop art. If Lichtenstein is the apotheosis of that movement, viewing so many of his pieces in one go only reinforces the intellectual weakness of pop art's conceit.

The social comment that pop art makes is as subtle as a billboard. As an art movement, it is one dimensional and essentially facile. The viewer "gets it" instantly - after which the lack of emotional content denies any rewarding engagement with the work. In terms of painterly techniques, Lichtenstein is a one trick pony compared to Warhol. The amusement one may gain from seeing a single Wham on a wall does not merit an exhibition of this yawning scale.

I am disappointed that upcoming Tate shows include Patrick Caulfield and Lowry. Is the gallery so strapped for cash that rank popularism outweighs offering the public thought-provoking art.

Moi boas Iria En primeiro lugar parabéns por tan magnífica exposición. Nós estariamos encantados de que puideses vir presentárnola a Portobello. Para o alumnado de galego de Londres sería unha honra. Agardamos que che sexa posible e de novo transmitímosche os nosos parabéns por ese éxito. Un saúdo.

Well yes it was an enjoyable exhibition. I am not sure that Lichtenstein may have been overrated, together with the relative importance of the Pop Art movement. He certainly was a first rate craftsman with undoubted talent as a Colourist. Having hit the jackpot in his 30s and 40s he was then free to do whatever he wanted; Much of his later work is charming and interesting. But as in so much contemporary art the first job of an ambitious artist is to create and exploit his brand, much like any commercial enterprise. Once the brand is established and the money starts rolling in a really talented artist is then able to move on. What happens when the artist moves on is the real test .

Agreed, Richard. Raphael had a pretty good brand too.Serious artists work for money. But pop art is essentially too facile a movement to merit a show of this scale, and it reveals Lichtenstein in terms of technique as very much a one trick pony. (As per my review here.)

My husband and I were fortunate to go to London for the day to visit the Tate Modern. It was the first time and it will certainly not be the last. Everyone was so helpful to my Husband who is suffering from Schleredema and was getting very tired walking, the assistants offered him a wheel chair which he gladly accepted....This made visiting a long awaited visit very enjoyable. I was overwhelmed at seeing my most favourite piece of work "The Drowning Girl" I have loved this since the 70's and have had it magneted to my fridge all these years..It was amazing walking into the Gallery and was faced by my most iconic painting. I love it more than ever and as for my husband he was so moved to actually see the works of art...thank you Tate for making this birthday so Special.

It's the emperor's new clothes all over again... Like with Duchamp's Fountain, there is an original "wow!" factor but you can't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect the wow! to keep on coming. Been there, done that, as they say. Maybe some draughtsmanship skills on show (nothing wrong with that) but it doesn't make for great art. The poverty of ideas in the wall commentary is revealing - in that there's not much on show to be revealed. The show builds to its nadir in Rooms 10 - deservedly unknown works - Room 12 - early and late works which wouldn't make the local art school show without Lichtenstein's name attached to them - and Room 13 which showcases Chinese Landscapes much better left to the Chinese artists who "inspired" them. All well exhibited no doubt as we expect of the Tate, but what a waste of gallery space.

A fantastic exhibition. I must admit I have visited a number of times, which is what I try and do with all the exhibitions. It was really nice to see some of Lichtenstein's sculptures.

The exhibition was a great experience. I knew R. L. only from what he did with comics. So it wasa nice surprise really to meet with that side of his works that I did not know.

The booklet you offer is really fantastic. Clear cut, to the point, a marvellous souvenir.

Thank you.