Black and white self portrait photo of Leonard Cohen from 1972

Leonard Cohen, Self-Portrait, 1979. Instant print (Polaroid Type 667). Overall: 10.8 × 8.3 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

December 7, 2022 - April 10, 2023

 

Member or Annual Pass Holder

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This exhibition is included with the purchase of General Admission. Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.

Members always see it first!  Exclusive Member Access to this exhibition daily from 10:30-11:30 am from Tuesday, January 24 - Tuesday February 28, 2023.  Learn More

EXHIBITION OVERVIEW

An enduring artistic force, Canadian novelist, poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) is renowned the world over for his meditations on beauty, death, loss and the human heart.

The first museum exhibition to present the holdings of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, Everybody Knows immerses visitors in the many facets of Cohen’s creative life. Rare concert footage and archival materials, including musical instruments, notebooks, lyrics and letters are featured alongside photographs, drawing, and digital art created by Cohen across several decades.

Two large-scale multimedia installations, on loan from the Musée d’art contemporain in Montréal, highlight Cohen’s singular voice, music and stage presence.

Curated by Julian Cox, the AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto with the exceptional support of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust and Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.

 


 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a Canadian poet, singer-songwriter and novelist. His music, lyrics and books, which have been read by generations of readers, are admired globally.  Born and educated in Montreal, Cohen’s artistic career began in 1956 with the publication of his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies. Over his long and productive career, he published numerous books of poetry and two novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, and in 1993, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs. He has recorded more than a dozen music albums, and numerous tribute albums, in many languages, have celebrated his songs. He died in Los Angeles in 2016 (the day before the US election) and was secretly buried in Montreal a few days later.  

 


 

THE PLAYLIST


DESCRIPTIVE AUDIO GUIDE

Audio description of artworks help remove barriers to our collections and exhibitions. Artworks will be highlighted through creative audio description, a type of spoken language describing visual images or objects, which enables audiences to engage and pursue their own journey in relation to visual art.

Download the Descriptive Audio Guide Transcript (PDF 69 KB)

 



ARTWORKS FROM THE EXHIBITION

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah Notebook

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah Notebook, 1983-1984. Notebook. Overall: 23.5 x 19 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows artwork
Leonard Cohen, One of those days (Watercolour Notebook)

Leonard Cohen, One of those days (Watercolour Notebook), 1980-1985. Watercolour notebook. Overall: 21.1 x 32.5 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows artwork
Unknown Photographer, Cohen performing

Unknown Photographer, Cohen performing, 1972. Gelatin silver print, 20.3 x 25.4 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows artwork
Leonard Cohen, Self-Portrait

Leonard Cohen, Self-Portrait, 1979. Instant print (Polaroid Type 667). Overall: 10.8 x 8.3 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows artwork
Leonard Cohen, Self-Portrait [Photobooth]

Leonard Cohen, Self-Portrait [Photobooth], c. 1980. Gelatin silver print. Overall: 20.5 x 5 cm. © Leonard Cohen Family Trust.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows artwork



EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

The first publication to present the holdings of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, Everybody Knows: Inside His Archive immerses readers in the many facets of Cohen’s creative life. Images of rare concert footage and archival materials, including musical instruments, notebooks, lyrics and letters, are featured alongside photographs, drawings and digital art created by Cohen across several decades.

Hardcover
168 pages

Publisher: ‎ DelMonico Books/Art Gallery of Ontario (Feb. 28 2023)
Julian Cox (Editor), Jim Shedden (Editor)

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Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows - catalogue cover
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