• 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 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.

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 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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'?

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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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.


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!

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.

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.

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

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.

I enjoyed the show and the playfulness and humour of much of the work.

It was interesting to see the work evolve and I was unaware of the connections L. made to other painters from art history. In this way I felt a little ambivalent: as there was definitely something new to be made of the connections but on the other hand it felt like there was something important missing from all that referencing.

I kind of felt this was an artist never quite at ease with his identity as a painter; maybe a little too much irony, maybe too much surface.

I enjoyed it more than my friend, me favouring the fun, humour and vivacity of it all, she, a bit more cynical.

Good show though!

I went to this exhibition on the same day as my visit to the Jose Parla exhibition, and perhaps this has affected how I viewed the Lichtenstein.

An early question in my notes – Is Lichtenstein painting his pictures and at the same time trying to engage with his audience or has he found an iconic style which brings him fame and fortune? is the artist interested in the spectator? I believe he is not, making his name etc was. Once this style is finessed, it is repeated over and over again. I was ‘unconnected’ with ‘blank’ emotion.

Another question appearing – Where is the creativity, once he has his style? Are the War and Romance painting a form of plagiarism?

The two wall Explosions and Head with Blue Shadow were striking reminding me of similar works by Frank Stella.

For me, the most interesting painting was his Self Portrait 1978, my notes ‘at last a really creative piece’.

My first experience of Lichtenstein was in the Tate's huge 54/64 exhibition (strangely omitted from the chronology in the catalogue) when, after trecking through the abstract expressionists, he was like a cold shower in a heat wave - utterly invigorating. It was good to find that, after 49 years, that excitement was still there. What did I particularly enjoy? 1) The landscapes, particularly the non dot ones using other materials the effect of which was quite unreproducible on the page. 2) The examples of his working processes - it's always good to see the processes an artist goes through to get to the finished article and these were particularly well-chosen examples which illustrated what a meticulous craftsman Lichtenstein was. 3) The Chinese paintings, with which I was unfamiliar. The sheer size and minimalism of them carried the same impact of Rothko or late Miro, the ability to lose yourself in the canvas.

Could have done with less of the nudes - they were so desexualised that they merely emphasised the comic book origins and emotional distance of Lichtenstein's more quotidian output.

A stunning exhibition! Not only enjoyed immensely by myself but my three children too! We shall return!

This is a fabulous exhibition. The range of Lichtenstein's work was captured with perfection and the influences that inspired him. Each room is themed with such sensitivity; the war-themed work, the romantic images, the geometric lines, the Chinese landscapes and the masterpiece, "Interior with Water lilies". So interesting to see the Benday dots close up. I didn't know that Lichtenstein produced sculpture and loved it, especially the pieces with the shades of jazz and Art Déco ... You should be proud! I'm going again ...

I <3 RL.. Great collection & seamless curation... Will definitely try & see it again before it finishes...

Stunning, an excellent representation of his work and beautifully and sympathetically staged adding greatly to the exhibition.

This surpassed my expectation - thank you.

As I had been lead to believe, it was indeed an eye-opener! Always a good thing for an art show - duh - but as I had seen very few of RL's work 'in the flesh' previously it was a truly memorable visit. I will be dragging anyone I can back to see it quite a few times before it closes!

Can I add a hint about a show I really would love to see at Tate Modern - a full retrospective of Ricahrd Diebenkorn!


A stunning exhibition, beautifully curated and an important retrospective.

However, having been a fan of Lichtenstein for all my adult life, and being old enough to have been able to engage with his work from the 60s at the time - this show does emphatically demonstrate the explosiveness of his arrival on the scene (rooms 2, 3, 4), but it does also serve to underscore an apparent inability and struggle to develop subsequently, which I have always found a little disappointing and somewhat saddening. This is in no way a criticism of the show itself which lends globally significant space to a worthy candidate in a fantastic venue - definitely a must-see.

Much of the merchandising on the way out left me cold though.

Fabulous - I went thinking I knew what I was going to get but it illuminated the familiar and introduced great two-dimensional explosions, beautiful minimalist abstraction and subtle, moving reworking of Chinese prints - particularly gorgeous. It's not always the case but the guide was great - I would have got so much less without the explanations of the ideas behind the work - so much more than pastiche, social context, the music and hearing from his widow and his friends. The only disappointment was that there was no poster available of the Chinese pictures - any particular reason why not?

Fun. Great exhibition. I was in New York in the 60s. All very nostalguic. Will go to Exhibition again ... and again.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. I remember seeing his work back in the sixties at various pop art exhibitions. I particularly enjoyed his Chinese Landscapes. I had not appreciated that he had done this sort of work before and for me the way were one of the best things about the exhibition.