The Tate Modern's 125 piece retrospective opens today.
Step-on Can with Leg, 1961.

Staging the biggest exhibition of his work to date, Tate Modern's Roy Lichtenstein retrospective is made up of over 125 works from his extensive career, within 13 rooms. Room 1 holds 'Brushstrokes', three large scale paintings from the mid-60's, while it culminates in a selection of pieces from 1996, 'Chinese Landscapes' in the 13th room, (a small but bright space, the lightness exaggerated even more by the dark depths of room 12).

Being the most in-depth exhibit of the Pop artist's work to date, it comes as no surprise that amongst the famous primary coloured paintings are smaller works in graphite, pencil and watercolour; collages and sculptures-such as the Modern Sculpture series of brass and mirror instruments-feature too, making for a rounded view of the artist's work. In the notes plastered across the walls that introduce each section, Lichtenstein acknowledges that he borrowed from other artists, stating "The things that I have apparently parodied I actually admire".

In one room a selection of mirrors-paintings of-hang alongside a wall, bright and airy almost like Lichtenstein's vision of the bathroom department in Ikea. In the same room on an opposing wall is the infamous 'Self-Portrait' from 1978, in which Lichtenstein comments on the image of identity with simply a white T-shirt and shaded mirror.

The 'Artist's Studio' collection is massive in scale but heavy in detail, despite the clean lines and light colours used it takes the viewer a while to soak in the four walls surrounding them. Seascape (c.1965) makes up part of the 'Landscapes' work, showcasing Lichtenstein's use of texture it features oil and magna on canvas. Part of the same series, Sea Shore (1964) again looks at texture, but addresses Pop Art with Lichtenstein's use of colour and dots on multiple sheets of plexiglass.

A vast selection of strong work from the late artist, Tate Modern's retrospective tells a tale that runs deeper than pop.

Until the 27th May 2013.


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