Alongside his prolific career as a singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen has been a poet, a novelist, a monk in Los Angeles, and, perhaps most obscurely, an artist. Of the many roles the Canadian has played beneath his iconic hats, the 40 years of drawing in notebooks or later on a computer have remained mostly privately. In recent years he’s exhibited prints of this work, including a new exhibition called Leonard Cohen: “Hey, that’s a way to say goodbye” at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen.
The 50 prints and drawings in the solo show will be on view just from April 10 to 14, depicting the themes familiar from his melancholic and never self-serious music, including women, instruments, and self-portraits, many scrawled with lines of text. One drawing of himself that seems to be a single squiggly connected line reads: “Just one little guy, with an old tweed cap, against the whole stinking universe.”
“Hey, that’s a way to say goodbye” is the last in Gallery Poulsen’s series of Cohen exhibitions, and the gallery is definitely one to embrace more offbeat art, such as Aaron Johnson’s paintings of monster-like faces formed from socks in 2013. Many of the Cohen prints are stamped with his “Order of the Unified Heart” interlocked symbol, linking them into his larger body of work, which has often involved a variety of media, including back in 2006 when he published The Book of Longing with poems alongside drawings. For diehards, Cohen’s art has been familiar for a while, including through the online authorized fan site the Leonard Cohen Files which includes scans of his scrapbooks, sketches, and computer art. Now, Cohen has never been known for his guitar skills (one of the drawings has the words: “my guitar is so beautiful sometimes I wish I could play it”), but that’s never stopped his music from being compelling through his words. His art is much the same, animated at its best by his lyrical language. And like when he sings with that brooding baritone, he’s humble about the prints being high art. Here’s a poem by Cohen about his work shared by the gallery:
If There Were No Paintings
If there were no paintings in the world, Mine would be very important.
Same with my songs.
Since this is not the case, let us make haste to get in line,
Well towards the back.
Sometimes I would see a woman in a magazine Humiliated in the technicolour glare.
I would try to establish her
In happier circumstances.
Sometimes a man.
Sometimes living persons sat for me.
May I say to them again:
Thank you for coming to my room.
I also loved the objects on the table
Such as candlesticks and bowls.
From a mirror on my desk
In the very early morning
I copied down
Hundreds of self-portraits.
The Curator has called this exhibition
Leonard Cohen Artworks
I call my work
Leonard Cohen: “Hey, that’s a way to say goodbye” is at Gallery Poulsen (Flæsketorvet 24, Kødbyen, Copenhagen) April 10 to 14.
Memories So Fair and Bright
Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.
Artists Contemplate Sovereignty in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2024 International Thematic Residency focuses on what sovereignty means for artists from across the world.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
How Did Early Modern European Craftspeople Pass On Their Knowledge?
A new book about object making critically examines a written history of working with materials.
Dual Portrait of Old Master Rachel Ruysch Holds a Trove of Secrets
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired the rare painting, which depicts the Dutch artist at work surrounded by her signature flora.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Did Van Gogh’s Disdain for the Eiffel Tower Inspire “Starry Night”?
Art historian James Hall argues that van Gogh replaced the Eiffel Tower with a towering cypress tree and its inaugural light shows with the night sky.
Greek Museum Welcomes Dogs For World Stray Animal Day
Furry friends and their pawrents can visit Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Ai Weiwei Recreates Monet’s “Water Lilies” Using 650,000 LEGOS
It’s the artist’s largest LEGO artwork to date.
Did a Simpsons Episode Predict the Florida “David” Outrage?
The episode, which aired 30 years ago, made a dark prediction about conservative politics in 2023.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.
Leonard Cohen: Just the best all-be-it a bit crazier than the rest.
Comments are closed.