Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. – Tate Modern, London

Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective Tate Modern London

The former Bankside Power Station that we now know as Tate Modern was selected by the Tate Trustees as the new gallery site for international contemporary art in 1994.

In 1996 the design plans by Herzog & de Meuron for the future gallery were unveiled and, following a £12 million grant from the English Partnerships regeneration agency, the site was purchased and work began. The huge machinery was removed and the building was stripped back to its original steel structure and brickwork. The turbine hall became a dramatic entrance and display area and the boiler house became the galleries we now enter to see the best of international contemporary art.

After a well-deserved short introduction to the iconic venue where the exhibition is hosted, let’s talk about a retrospective of one of the great American artists of the twentieth century.


Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is the first full-scale exhibition of this important artist in over twenty years. The show brings together 125 of his most definitive artworks and it will last until the 27th May.

Lichtenstein, the artist we well-know for his pop advertising imagery, coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots.

Roy Lichtenstein's Sea Shore (1964)
I suppose I would still prefer to sit under a tree with a picnic basket rather than under a gas pump, but signs and comic strips are interesting as subject matter.Roy Lichtenstein

The artist was born in New York City on October 27, 1923, and grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and died in New York City on September 29, 1997.
He became a leading figure of the new pop-ular art movement in the 60s, alongside Andy Warhol.


The exhibition showcases such key paintings made with a wide range of materials, including paintings on Rowlux and steel, as well sculptures in ceramic and brass and a selection of previously unseen drawings, collages and works on paper.

I’m not really sure what social message my art carries, if any. And I don’t really want it to carry one. I’m not interested in the subject matter to try to teach society anything, or to try to better our world in any way.Roy Lichtenstein


Text by Matilde Casaglia

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