• 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.



Well, Iria, you must be thrilled by all these positive comments. Unfortunately I think some make me think of the Emperor's clothes!! Does no one have a negative comment to make? In the 40s and 50s all children copied pictures from comics and coloured them in bright colours - it was the thing to do on rainy days. Lichtenstein, having failed to do any worth while work found that he was good at copying pictures (none of which one could say is totally original) in that very simple comic style. They delighted his son and he obviously enjoyed painting them. What is really clever about his work is that he and his family have become VERY rich on the backs of the original thought and hard work of others. Good that the comic illustrators decided to copyright their work so that it can't happen again.

Lichtenstein show: moderately entertaining, at least he showed a sense of humour with his comic-book imagery... Otherwise I found his work, dry and derivative.

All in all, a much lesser artist than the many decades of massive over-hype had led me to expect, although the late Chinese landscapes were rather soothing

By contrast to the superb Schwitters exhibition at Tate Britain, a rather minor affair.


Thank you creeko. At last someone of a like mind. As in my earlier comment - Schwitters' work is a far more interesting and original.

Iria, Enjoyed the LIchtenstein immensely; in fact I have been twice. Was previously only aware of his "cartoons"; found the black and white paintings particularly impressive; have the feeling that all the time he was searching and experimenting Very best wishes June


Myself, husband and daughter really enjoyed the exhibition yesterday, it appears from previous comments that we were lucky as it wasn't to busy. Thought the work was presented thoughtfully and appreciated the booklet we were presented with, very helpful and nice to keep for future reference. Personally I loved the art deco pieces, especially the sculptures.

I'm an avid gallery creature, and have learnt a lot about art through my own motivations to see art as well as read about it. One thing I try to look for in retrospective's, such as the Lichtenstein exhibition I saw last night, is a breadth of work relating to different stages of an artist's life; but also, I like to see works which are lesser known which may change my opinion about any preconceived notion I have about an artist form the more well-known works I know already. This Lichtenstein exhibition did just that, and it was great to see the variety of work shown, having not known that he was a sculptor and did certain series of paintings like the black and white ones or the landscape ones, which for me were more impressive than the comic book strip interpretations he is most recognised for.

His pop art takes on art history and famous artists was also a surprise to me, and elevated my opinion of Lichtenstein for being more than just a pop artist. Whether some of the works, such as the Perfect Painting series, really have anything to say is another question. I felt that a lot of his paintings, though executed precisely, evoked reactions at a superficial, aesthetic level, and didn't need to go any deeper than that. A comment on the consumer culture he was creating works in? Perhaps, but at least he did have a critical eye in the context of art, even if some pieces weren't as poignant as he made them out to be.

Overall, a good exhibition, and a real pleasure to see a whole catalogue of works in one place - something which retrospectives at the Tate do very well.

Many thanks - enjoyed the exhibition greatly. Had not realised the breadth of his work, have previously understood him to have focused principally just on the blown up cartoons.

My daughter is interested in Lichtenstein and has done work in his style for her GCSE. We brought her to the exhibition and were all totally blown away by seeing the work full size and close up. Marvellous. The parents were educated too!!!

Lichtenstein's comic book paintings seem to achieve the best prices,does this mean his later work is not as highly rated/valued?Superb exhibition,well organised,excellent audio guide with great comments and music.

This retrospective was a revelation for all 5 of us who went together to see it yesterday. We only knew the "comic book paintings" (so much better on display than in reproductions) but his range is so much broader and his skill so much greater than we'd realised. His art changed throughout his life -- even though some aspects of it never changed. Just as what he painted was always based on someone else's work -- but always original.

We just would have like to learn more about the man himself and his life.

I loved the exhibition. Previously I hadn't know a great deal about Lichenstein apart from his most popular work. The Chinese Landscapes were a real revelation, placing them at the end was very clever as they are not well known works and were a wonderful surprise.

i have been looking forward to this show for the past year or two and it was even more impressive than i had expected. In my opinion, Lichtenstein's work improved over the decades, as he refined his style and execution. It was wonderful to see how he applied his own visual language to all types of subject matter and in various mediums. I took three friends along to see the show with me, one of whom was rather sceptical about Lichtensteins worth as an artist. He left the show fully converted to the work of one of the finest and most unique artists of the 20th century. I would recommend everybody to see this exhibition whilst they have the chance.

I really enjoyed the Lichtenstein exhibition, which I found thorough and clear. What struck me the most was the 1990s works which I did not know. I was especially amazed by the Chinese influence on L's art at the end of his career. I will definitely recommend it. It's worth the visit.


I appreciated the view of lesser-known artworks coming from private collections and I thank you for your hard work and effort. However I am sorry to say that I did not feel particularly enriched by this exhibition and not even amused. Sincerely it has nothing really “new” to say and could have been made exactly in the same way ten years ago (in fact it reminds me the one I have seen in Madrid in 2007- Beginning to end). Maybe it is an artist who is difficult to play with but I would have expected TATE to find new points of view... (ca va sans dire: this is just my personal opinion and I do not want to offend anyone who hard worked on it!)

I thought that exhibition was very well laid out, and there were some interesting works, I am more of a fan of Rothko, de Kooning, and Pollock plus lots more obscure abstract expressionists. I found his attempts at that milieu rather amateurish to say the least, and wasn't surprised that he gave it up.

I have always thought that Roy was a bit of a one trick pony, stumbled upon a popular and innovative idea, ran with it and carved out a nice little career for himself.

The exhibition does nothing to alter my perception of him, and I am probably going against the grain, but then I always have with my own art, and I always will.

Great show, a good complement to the 2004 Hayward exhibition; yours had many works that were not at that as well as some ommissions that were there. Perhaps you guys could get together and do THE show on Lichtenstein!! On a sour note, I thought the merchandise was a bit poor; but let nothing detract from the work, which since I first saw a print of Whaam!! back in the 1970s (which led me to Tate Britain not long after) I've loved. So, THANK YOU for putting this on.


Your exhibition has excited and touched me! I adored Roy as a young girl (born 1949)and he is as fresh as ever and gives so much pleasure.The show flowed and showed the full range of the works he created, a unique experience. I have seen it twice so far : bold,punchy, dazzling and unmistakably Brand Lichtenstein . Congratulations to all of you for putting on such a compelling show and respect for having purchased Wham as early as 1966 for £ 4000 . You know your stuff !!!

Magnifica muestra, de las mejores que he visto. Un gran aporte a la cultura,muchas gracias. Miguel


Totally underwhelming! Always have big respect for those who put together an exhibition, but think the man himself was a lucky guy: right time, right place, but almost a one-hit wonder! For me a bad case of style outstripping content; disappointing.

Intense and Witty.

I was familiar with some of Lichtenstein's more iconic work through the media, but was not at all prepared for the massive impact they have in reality. There is humour in the comic book work and the parodies of Picasso and others, but I enjoyed much more the power of the colour and intensity of the work. Modern women, my daughters included, may have reservations on his obsession with a certain kind of youthful feminine stereotype. The sculptures were a complete surprise and reminded me of Futurism with their sleek metallic lines. The play on ways of seeing 2 and 3 dimensions is terrific. this exhibition was immensely enjoyable and well presented and a fitting tribute to a genuinely innovative artist.

Patrick Byrne

Thank you for a really good exhibition, I thought I 'knew' what I was going to see, went with a friend who was not that keen to go and another who had no idea what to expect. I half expected to agree with my friend who was rather negative at first but was soon taken in. The three of us really enjoyed the variety of Lichtenstein's work, he was a true artist who kept working and questioning his own work. I'll definitely be back soon!

I really enjoyed the Lichtenstein exhibition. There weren't a vast number of people present and so we could really enjoy the pictures. Only niggle was the tea served in the members room was particularly awful. And as you know we Brits do like our tea! I did complain , but the second pot was just as weak and nasty as the first. Sorry. Otherwise great visit! Thank you.

As a lifetime admirer of comic book and strip cartoon art , Lichtenstein's work has always resonated with me. I thought the exhibition was excellent and exceeded my expectations. The opportunity to see the development from his early "experiments" with colour and modern art through the stages represented by each room was exceptional. I brought a colleague, unfamiliar with Lichtenstein. After an initial, dubious opinion of Lichtenstein, by the end he was as entranced as I was and appreciated not only the works but the exhibition's breadth of work. Well done. A great success.

Really enjoyed the exhibition - thought the grouping and sequencing of pictures was good. Favourite rooms were 3 and 4 - black and white pictures were very impressive as I was not aware of these previously. Only complaint is that I have been to many exhibitions at the Tate (both Modern and Britain) where I have bought the bookmarks on sale - but there were none available in the shop for this exhibition.

Seemed to me that the very early work was wonderful and seemed fresh and vigourous even now. Absolute surprise was the 3D box with dots on acrylic front face etc [sea scape?] and pleased to see that. Possible favourite may be white cloud. Somehow Roy seemed to have lost his way as late 60s turned into 70s. His 'realisations' of classic Picassos were like an illustration of a very bad idea that added nothing to Matisse or Picasso and detracted from the initial immensity of invention in his early endeavours. From there on there just was nothing that added to his achievement and plenty that detracted with weak, bloated arbitrary works which were increasingly and hugely disappointing.

As a lifelong Lichtenstein fan i really enjoyed this exhibition. It wasn't too busy when I visited (10am Sat 23rd March) which does make a difference. I went to Manet later at the RA and it was chocca-blok, which made it difficult to see - let alone enjoy. Lichtenstein was brilliantly enjoyable, enlightening and exciting. Seeing the images for years in books etc. then them being there in actuality was special. Thank you Tate.

I have been following Liechtenstein's career since I was 14 years old. I was fascinated by his technique then, and it still amazes me now. Watching this exhibition and all his iconic paintings was a real joy, especially "Takka Takka". I could not believe my eyes when I saw this painting that I reproduced for fun when I was a little girl. Beautifully curated, every room was very well displayed and you could see every aspect f his career and understand the way he revolutionized his technique. I was familiarized with practically all his works, but the most impressive for me was the black and white that I had not seen before this exhibition. Great exhibition.

The theme approach was a master move, the works were hung in such a way as to be able to view them despite the audio guide fanatics who never even look at the works

Thanks for show. The only way to get a perspective on a lifetimes work. Have much better understanding of his considerable range and depth, not just a 'comic book' illustrator. Vernon thomas

Excellent displays, which along with the very informative audio guide sets all the work in an historical context. I enjoyed the learning experience.

whilst I enjoyed the show and would recommend it however on a personal level I was slightly disappointed when being informed via the headphones that Lichtenstein did not enjoy comic books, but then why was so much of his work based on it and then seeing where wham originated from ie someone else's work, which was hardly changed at all in my eyes. I wondered how the comic book artist had felt about it, personally I felt a bit deflated as I had always loved these pictures in the past. Just seen corkerscaneries comments so will look at Frank Stella

I liked the black and white room, the picture I liked most was the radio and also the cut glass with the lemon. Also liked a few of the mirrors. I agree with 'Antigravity' on the chinese landscapes ( the people/foliage added nothing to these paintings )

I did like some of his sculptures, the explosions and the nude

The shop on the way out was too small and consequently a bit manic, I also think you should warn people that they now need to bring along their own bags for goods they buy so unlike me ( who recycles everything ) they are not made to feel like the worst person on the planet because I wanted my nice new art book in a bag in case it rained on my way home..... bags cost you 5p you have been warned now !

The exhibition was one of the most stimulating for quite a while. It was particularly good to see the lesser known works and to rermind myself of the painstaking precision of his painting. It was very powerful. Patrick Cauldfield will be an excellent follow up to this show.

I enjoyed the show and seeing the pieces I did not know. I loved the Chinese pieces which I found beautiful, calming and meditative. I had not come across these pieces before.

I loved the art Deco sculpture which was also very new to me and some of the the art on art - again the sculpture as well as Picasso.

I will go again but on a quieter day

I thought that this would be an incredible opportunity to see Lichtensteins work all in one space, re-living my early art education and re-acquainting myself with these iconic pieces. It's a shame I couldn't see the artworks with the volume of crowds around each work. The amount of times tiny children bashed into my legs as they ran around manically was very distracting. I grew more and more frustrated and zoomed through hoping the next room was the last. I was disappointed that I couldn't spend time with the art and left having only seen corners and snippets of the paintings. Even Damian Hirst wasn't as bad as this experience!

We greatly enjoyed the exhibition. It was good to have a sense of the variety of Lichtenstein's work - I was only aware of the pop-art with which he is so associated. His re-working and reinterpretation of the work of other artists was most interesting - I particularly liked Rouen Cathedral, and the Chinese paintings. It was also good to see some sculptures, and I loved the items in the series Modern Sculpture.

Excellent exhibition. All themes brilliantly laid out. Rooms such as "art about art" (by far my favourite and a happy discovery), "artist's studios" and "chinese landscapes" speak loud and clear of how big of a creator he was, far beyond the simplistic descriptions of just being a "pop artist" This exhibition puts him in the fair and deserved place of a great 20th century author.

Wonderful exhibition! He is quite possibly my favourite artist and I have seen many of the paintings before but it is always a pleasure to see them "live", just to be in the same room with them lifts my heart. I really appreciated the way the rooms were laid out, it all made sense. Thank you.

Loved it. Great to see so much work that is unfamiliar. The black and white and the Chinese stuff was a delight to discover.


An excellent exhibition. I have visited a number of Tate special exhibitions and this was the best so far. I am always disappointed if there is no audio guide - so very pleased there was one for this - and I particularly liked the audio guide which gave the usual commentary on the major pieces (especially good for highlighting elements or interpretations of the works that I had not spotted) and also included insightful extracts from interviews (eg with the artist) - please aim to use a similar approach for future exhibitions where possible. I had not seen the 3d explosion sculptures before - stunning. The energy and movement in the war pieces is incredible and just has to be seen "in the flesh" to be fully appreciated. A once in a lifetime exhibition - such a shame I live too far away to be likely to be able to make another visit. Thank you

Brilliant, loved it as did my 2 little ones (4 and 5yrs) a great vibrant display, well worth the visit.

We really enjoyed the Lichtenstein Retrospective, the famous works were impressive in the "flesh".

There were works I was not familiar with, I particularly enjoyed the Chinese Landscapes. I would liked to have seem more of these. They could also have been in a bigger space, there was not room to stand far enough back to full appreciate these pictures.

A very informative and comprehensive exhibition. The artist, alas, was a bit disappointing. It was great to see all the iconic paintings (and their comic-strip sources) in one place. The later works anyhow proved Lichtenstein as an exclusively graphic artist, who unsuccessfully tried to transfer his approach to painting and even to the third dimension.

Seen quite a few before in various places worldwide, but to see them all in one place and so well grouped was a revelation. I will be back!

I saw my first Lichtenstein as a teenager and loved his work for the bright colours, comic book style and irony. The Tate retrospective is incredible - not just because we get to see Lichtenstein up close, but because his work is contextualised: reading about Lichtenstein wanting to portray the position of women in the 1950s as extensions of household products in advertising campaigns I found really elevated the pieces. I laughed out loud a few times - the scale of the work combined with his style seemed to give each piece more life. I thought his abstract work, 1950s compared to 1990s, showed the journey of his art, but what topped it for me was firstly the sculptures and the Chinese landscape pieces - what a gem right at the end of the exhibition and work that isn't often seen. Thanks to the Tate for this one. Viv

It was a great show; I liked the structure and the explanatory notes on the wall. It was great to see more unknown pieces and I really liked the paintings influenced by Chinese art!! Very nice!!

We visited the exhibition yesterday. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the show. Our favourite piece was quite a simple one really, it was the Alka-Selza black and white piece. We wished there had been a postcard of it. Unusually, we bought some merchandise, the cushion covers were really good fun and were very good value; as were most of the other things for sale, which seems rare nowadays at most galleries. So thank you Tate.

I really enjoyed this exhibition. I felt that I was witnessing Lichtenstein's artistic evolution and changes in personal taste as I discovered the different rooms. The audio guide, with some of his favourite jazz songs on the background as well as commentaries by both himself as his wife, was definitely an added value and made me really appreciate him as a person and artist even more.


It was difficult to see the exhibition but I'll put that down it being Easter Monday when I visited.

A display physically showing some of his tools might have been good as well.

Also a nod to his legacy by showing his influence on those that came after him might have been useful as well.