Tate Modern: Lichtenstein, A Retrospective

As an absolute art geek, I love nothing more than a day visiting a couple of exhibitions (just not four of them. That was a mistake!). School holidays are an excuse for me to fill up on as much art as I possibly can.

First on my list was Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of Lichtenstein. At 15, I loved Pop Art, on the misguided opinion that it showed that I knew about art. I was also obsessed with the 60s, so it was perfect for me. As I grew up, I got bored of Pop Art in favour of more dark, controversial styles. However, as Lichtenstein is such a pioneer within art history, I thought it was important to visit the exhibition.

Unfortunately, it was exactly as I imagined. It wasn't bad, but it just didn't appeal to me. All the famous paintings were there- Whaam! and Drowning Girl, for example- and it's nice to have been able to see them. However, there was nothing that really inspired me. I quite liked his black and white works, and seeing how Lichtenstein created light and shade, as well as his sculptures. My favourite room was the room in which he recreated famous artworks by the likes of Mondrian, Picasso and Matisse in his own style. That was interesting, and is something I'd like to try myself. Other than that, I found it a bit blasé.

One of my favourite things about visiting exhibitions is eavesdropping on other peoples' conversations. I've found the most interesting interpretations this way. Yet even these were along the lines of "I like the goldfish" and "Look, these ones are different because they're not dotty". It seems nobody else was particularly inspired either.

If you're a Pop Art fan, you'll probably love it. I'm still glad I went, as I do think it's important to be submerged in the key players of modern art. It just didn't inspire me, and therein lies the problem. 

However, I did find a lot of inspiration in the rest of the Tate. It's my favourite gallery, and I always find something new to capture my imagination. 

This work, Lament of the Images by Alfredo Jar, was intriguing as soon as I stepped into the room. For me, it conjured up images of torture chambers and mortician tables. Just as I was taking a photo, there was a loud clunk, a mechanical whirr, and the upper slab began descending towards the lower.

As it lowered, the light was surpressed and the room descended into complete darkness, except for a miniscule slither of light peeking out from the sides and throwing a thin line around the walls. The best part of this was when people entered the room without realising what had just happened. They started peering into the gap to see if anything was inside, and it felt like those of us who had seen the original state were in on a big secret. 

Such a beautiful, cavernous space. 

I love the view from inside the gallery. 

Then it was time to head back along South Bank to reach the Hayward Gallery. 

I've never seen the Thames so high! 


  1. This still looks like so much fun!
    I did a HUGE study during GCSE and his stuck with me ever since!
    I think his a great artist and his work is evident everywhere today!

    Hope you had a lovely day in London :)

  2. This looks like my kind of day out!
    Nicola xx

  3. This looks like a great day! I don't think I would have been inspired by the Lichtenstein retrospective either- I'm not a huge fan of modern art in general. That said, I love the Tate Modern as a whole! xx

  4. I'm going next month- so excited! X

  5. Looks like you had an awesome day. I love going to art galleries, but I don't do it as often as I should. I loved Lichtenstein as a teen and thought it made me super arty, but I agree I don't think I'd be super inspired by a retrospective of his work nowadays.

  6. We partook in a bit of the pop art studying when I was still studying art in senior school (I basically think everyone did as a teen doing GCSE art but there you go) - I was always much more of a David Bailey kinda pop art fan then Lichtenstein, although I can indeed appreciate it.

  7. lovely pics <3


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