• Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962.  Private collection

    Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962

    Private collection

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.

Comments

larry gold

I enjoyed the exhibition very much. I am a fan of Roy Liechenstein and it has been a long time since the last exhibition at Hayward Gallery

Robert Edlin

Absolutely brilliant - I never realised the vast range of styles that L painted in.

JohnBeha

A truly excellent exhibition, well laid out and easy to see everything. The audio guide supplemnted the visual experience and was well worth the additional payment, I liked the way the "brush strokes" theme of the first room was continued through the exhibition. Obviously the key works were central, but my daughter and I really enjoyed the Art Deco pieces and the clever idea of finishing with the wonderful Chinese landscapes, coming after the least interesting room was a great touch. I also loved the Rouen Cathedral works, which my daughter remembered from The RA "Pop Art" show but I did not. Thank you!

Biffo

WOW !!!

Went for the second time yesterday. What a wonderfully exciting exhibition. Was familiar with the 'usual suspects', but many of them I had only seen as prints - which brings things full circle and defeats the object of the artist's intentions. But to see the wonderful landscapes, the perfect/imperfect pictures and other works in their enormity was an untrammelled delight. And the sculpture. "Galatea' is one of the finest pieces of sculpture of any age. This exhibition is one of the two best exhibitions I have seen in my long life. I'm going again before it closes. Thank you for curating it.

harriethedden

I had absolutely no idea about the range and subtlety of Lichtenstein's work. Although familiar with his ubiquitous painting from the sixties, the later paintings revealed a complex and moving body of work which came as something of a revelation. This was an important exhibition to bring together work from an artist with a complex and varied painterly language.

Ian Rothery

I thought the Lichtenstein exhibition was wonderful. I don't often use the electronic commentary, but this was particularly helpful. I often found myself agreeing audibly to a comment made which was chiming with my own observation. The duel focus on technical expertise and its philosophical foregrounding was really fruitful - especially with the comments of both Lichtenstein and his wife who were able through their words and the tone of what they said to establish a humane and good-humoured context. your own comments ad those of other commentators were helpful and interesting. I would certainly recommend the use of the commentary - as much as anything else because without it, for anyone like me whose previous knowledge of the artist was limited and somewhat cliched, the significance of the spectacle could easily be lost in admiration of the artist's use of a pleasing popular style.

Thanks again - I got a lot out of the exhibition and a new understanding of what the artist was doing and why. The elegy from his friend, describing him as a warm, well-balanced human beiing, comfortable with him self and his rerelationships with family and friends, rang very true - it is present in his art.

YogiJeanine

Yesterday I saw the exhibition a second time, having previously taken my little girl - 7 who loved it enough to spend a whole hour in the exhibition,.
I must say, walking through the exhibition again and listening to the wonderful commentary and archive material was a life enriching and joyful experience. I gained greater insight and apprecation of the bredth and depth of Roy Lichensteins talent and brilliant exploration and commentary on the world as it was developing around him. The wit and humor, and love of the medium shine through in his own idiosyncratic and visually exciting way., Thanks so much for putting on wonderful, important exhibitions like this one so well.

Margaret Chapman

So interesting to see the early and late works including the Chinese series. I didn't like them but it was great to see them for the first time. Also the ones with the lighter colours. I thought they were lovely, except for the peculiar brush stroke on one of them. Don't know why he daubed that on. A great exhibition that showed me a lot I had never seen. Thank you.

terryc

This was my second visit to Lichtenstein.
I was struck the first time, and more so on this occasion, by two things.
First, how brilliantly, and radically, Lichtenstein grasped the Zeitgeist in the very process of its formation. The rooms in the exhibition leading up to and including his very famous cartoon strip pictures, "War & Romance", show a creative mind working in extreme focus at the very heart of the modern human condition. These rooms are richly contemplative of a great artist working towards, and then arriving at the peak of his powers. Everything from Warhol to Mad Men begins here. Lichtenstein understood the narrative micro-second of the Now better than any other artist of his era.
A picture as simple in its conception and as purely judged in its execution as Golf Ball repaid long, long moments of viewing.
Secondly, however, the exhibition also unerringly told how remarkably quickly Lichtenstein's work lost its purpose and ceased developing after that point. There are exceptions, like some of the Artist Studio canvases, but his pastiches of the work of others and then, sadly, of himself quickly devolved into rather barren intellectualism. Expert technically, but the spiritual and emotional returns visibly diminished as one made one's way through the exhibition, until the banal, sterile and frankly boring Chinese cliches at the end. They really are hideously kitsch, and should be locked away in a safe somewhere. Assets, not art.
Lichtenstein's greatness is assured, because his was a truly great idea; but this exhibition also showed that was also his one and only great idea.

kultur vulture

A fascinating exhibition. I was confused about Lichtenstein as an artist before I came to the exhibition and whilst I am still somewhat confused I have made some progress in appreciation of him. I was moved especially by the last room - the Chinese style landscapes were truly beautiful.
One practical criticism - the audio guide was generally very good but would have been so much better if it had been arranged in strict room order. On some occasions it was difficult to match pictures with commentary.

duncan_crawford...

Iria

I can't believe it was 2003 when the Hayward Gallery did the last Lichtenstein exhibition in London! and it's the first time I've seen so much of his work all together and I know his early Pop well, especially the War and Romance Room 4, which are iconic Pop images of the 1960's. The most facinating part (for me) was how he developed the stencils made from Aluminium, the patience to drill holes. I always wondered how he had such a steady hand?

It was very brave of the Tate to devote such a Retrospective, because after a while I felt as though I had overdosed in his work. I've always seen him with other Pop Artists and he is best suited (in my mind) to be mixed with Eduardo Palozzi, Andy Warhol and others that can complement than Pop art style.

Many thanks for an interesting exhibition.

Duncan

Meddleman

Really enjoyed the Lichtenstein especially the relationship with other artists. The paintings were well displayed and each room revealed a different aspect of the work which was more varied than we had imagined. The visit was marred slightly by the number of people accessing different floors of the Tate who, despite appearing in good health and often being much younger than myself, appeared to have very limited use of their legs to the point where they were prepared to wait a long time for a lift and to go up and down until they reached the right floor which was often only one floor up or down from where they started! This caused problems for us as we had our one year old grandson in a buggy and also various other buggy and wheelchair users who had to wait for considerable periods whilst lifts came and went packed full of people who could easily have used the stairs or escalators. I suggest the current signs fruitlessly requesting people to give priority to wheelchairs and buggies be replaced by lifts that are solely for the use of these plus the elderly or infirm. Perhaps signs could also suggest that people could try making use of their lower limbs as they might be surprised at what they could achieve with a minimal amount of effort.

Harry Braff

I remember seeing WHAM at the old Tate when it was first aquired and the impact it had on me ,an impressionable schoolboy.Reviewing his work after so many years and in particular this (wonderful) exhibition leaves me with an element of sadness for this great artist.I had the feeling of a man trapped with his own success and towards the end of his career (for a career it truly was ) an attempt made to reach outside and revisit the passion that drove him to paint all those years ago.Like Michelangelo, peering over the shoulder of Christ in his last 'Pieta' , I felt Lichenstein ,in his last works, attempting to peer, through the haze of comformity, toward a new Light.

Paul-San

I have been a big fan of Lichtenstein since my teenage years and was very much looking forward to seeing some of his iconic works first hand. Although that was a thrill, overall I found the exhibition disappointing.

I came away not feeling that I had learnt anything new. Key works were absent and I felt a number of opportunities for genuine exposition had been missed. I would have liked to see more of the artist's studies, presented closer to the finished works so that referring from one to the other was more straightforward and less hampered by the crowds. Although some source material was on show (the Wham! comic for example) I would have liked to see a lot more more - why no examples of 50's and 60's Romance Comics for example or of 1960's newspaper small ads?

It would also have been interesting to see his parody works displayed alongside some of the originals - his cubist parody next to an actual cubist painting, his Picasso tribute next to a real Picasso and so on. His early work seemed sadly neglected - other than a strangely random 1950's Crossing the Delaware canvas there wasn't much else other than the 'brushstrokes' room showing some early doodlings which didn't seem to actually be finished works at all, more like testers.

There was no real sense of progression I felt, or an explanation of how he developed his craft. It was fabulous to see his canvasses first hand but I still left with a feeling of slight disappointment and of an opportunity missed. Great art but not a great exhibition.

PatH

Loved the show. Vibrant and a joyous celebration of Lichtenstein's career. Particularly enjoyed the inclusion of lesser known works. Thank you, it really brightened our day after we had walked the South Bank in dismal rain and wind!

ebabeb

It was wonderful to have the chance to see his works and to dump some mental baggage and see his importance as a painter as opposed to a 20th, century cliche.

v

I'm all Benday dotted out!! Best exhibition this year so far!

BOBSWINBURNE

Superb Roy Lichtensein exhibition and well worth our trip from Manchester. Great layout which guided us through the various stages of the artist's works.

One small administrative point. As a Tate member do feel that we should have a fast track entrance and not have to queue.

scalawine

Enyoyed the breadth of the hang -great to learn of the range of his work and not just see the chestnuts. Triumphant method to counterpose craft reproduction of mass media with a subtle irony of continuous comment from the artist. Makes many detractors seem even shallower than I thought.

swim scholar

What I enjoyed most was the explanation of the originality of the content of his work: the dots, the bold brush strokes, his take on abstract expression . I equally found fascinating the discussion of his perspective of what he was trying to convey to those who experienced his work.

Thank you, Tate!

alexH

I have never been a fan of Lichtenstein's work and did not intend to visit the
exhibition,but then I thought it would be churlish not to - considering how much
trouble and effort the Tate have put into it.
I liked the sculptures,and I think Roy Lichtenstein deserved full marks for
innovation,but I found his paintings totally without appeal.I never thought black
could be so ugly!
( I don't care how many eminent art historians/critics tell me its good - it is
not my cup of tea)

iep

A fascinating and well put together exhibition. I think the War and Romance pictures capture something very special that identify Lichtenstein's uniqueness. He took the mass portrayal of emotion and excitement and put it under a microscope. The art of the comic book, small images skimmed through by teenagers searching out "boyish" excitement (War) or "girlish" emotion (Romance), is reproduced on big canvases laying bare the dots and lines, but nuancing them to heighten the overall effect. And what do we see? An expose of the tawdriness of shallow and false emotion peddled to the mass market? Or does he find something very genuine in comic book iconography; the heart of popular, contemporary (60s) culture. The observer decides.

After this he seems to spend much of his time establishing the Lichtenstein brand and exploiting it. But who can blame him, an artist has to eat! And at least he had a sense of humour.

suedeHEAD67

... I found the whole event so stimulating ... I am a Graphic Design teacher at a secondary school ... my students (who visited separately) also drew inspiration from an artist who is so accessible on one level yet challenging on another ... apart from quite obviously the artwork ... I was particularly impressed with the multimedia guide; a quite superb accompaniment ... the Jazz soundtrack served to really set the vibe ... can anybody advise as to the music used ... I don't know the first thing about Jazz but feel the need to source out some of those majestic sounds ...??

tate2013

Dots and stripes! Not easy on the eye and, no, comic strip art is not for me. However, I did like his art deco sculpture - most surprising. I had no idea he did both.

Jamcat7663

We all really loved the exibition, there was so much that we had never seen before. Blown away by the Chinese landscapes and currently trying to find prints. Luke( 13) was entranced which was brilliant as this was his birthday treat.

a_rbb

I saw this exhibition on the last day and I'm so glad that I did. I was aware of many of his images, but not his influences. I particularly loved his homage to Picasso and the Chinese landscapes. Thank you Tate Modern.

Terence

I really enjoyed the exhibition, contrary to expectations. I particularly admired the black and white series, the mirrors, the art deco sculpture and the Japanese paintings. I wish I had used the audio guide to learn more about the personal life of the artist.

Ian_in_Tickenham

I was going to be in London for a morning meeting and saw the ad for the exhibition in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday edition. I really like pop art so thought I'd come along and was I glad I did. I loved the exhibition. The commentary was superb. It was both informative and personal as well in the sense of having an interview with Lichtenstein and his wife and friends on it. I didn't know Lichtenstein had such a varied portfolio. I loved the ending of the commentary which I think said it all (won't spoil it for those that haven't heard it yet). Your structuring of the exhibition was brilliant. I have to say, being a grumpy old man, that I found the art gallery a bit noisy for my taste; I wish there'd been a T-shirt with the picture you have on this blog.

Thanks so much.

Ian_in_Tickenham

I forgot to mention that I was surprised that there was no mention of Suerat given Lichtenstein's use of dots and I thought that one of his abstracts appeared to be influenced by Mondrian. Further his early paintings only used primary colours. Still, a brilliant exhibition - wish we could see some of these exhibitions in the south west.

MissyElla

Like some of the other contributors, I was utterly amazed at the diversity and scope of his work.

I was only aware of his Pop art pieces and my Eyes were opened to his creativity...and to see what inspired him was wonderful to see.
I loved his Matisse inspired painting and his Mondrian inspired work.

I enjoyed the exhibition greatly and would have liked to have stayed a lot longer..upon departure I was able to purchase two of the framed pieces in the Shop.

So am very happy!

Trevor Harvey

I enjoyed the show. Would have liked to see the quotation at the exit displayed prominently at the entrance. It makes a good starting point for thinking about all art, not just Lichtenstein's.

Susana de Souza

The exhibition was beyond expectations and very inspiring. We loved the amount and quality of information provided by the multimedia guide about his life and works, and the fact that it was recorded with the voices of the artist and people near to him. We learned a lot about his motivations, techniques and social-political context. This exhibition made us admire even more Roy Lichtenstein. My son (16) and daughter (20) were very impressed. Congratulations to Tate and all involved! Thanks!

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