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Artbook D.A.P.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows


Published to accompany the unprecedented exhibition currently on view at the Art Gallery of Toronto, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows collects the late poet, singer-songwriter and novelist’s previously unseen journals, letters, sketches, handwritten lyrics, photographs, archival concert materials and more. All are gathered from Cohen’s vast personal archive and published for the first time. “As part of his process of artistic discovery, Cohen preserved all his work in its various stages,” AGO Deputy Director and Chief Curator Julian Cox writes. “He revised his writing obsessively, fine-tuning a verse or a sentence until its shape satisfied. Cohen himself positioned his archive as being ‘at the very center of the thing. I see the work floating on the material. [The published songs or poems are] just the Beacon, the designation—somehow the signal for the investigation of the entire work. … The archive is the mountain, and the published work the volcano.’ In its depth and breadth, the archive shows the many roads taken, revealing more the journey than the destination. Unmistakably, it demonstrates Cohen’s tireless will to create. He may not have considered his life’s expedition as prospecting for gold, but he delivered it anyway.” Featured artwork, by Cohen, is "Portrait of Leonard Cohen Stamped with the Rosarium philosophorum" (1974).