• 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.


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

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.

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 !

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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


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.

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


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 !!!

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.

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.


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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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!!!

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.

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.


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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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!!"


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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!!


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...

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

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!

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!!


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.

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.

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.