Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything

24. October 2019 to 13. April 2020

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything

October 24, 2019 – April 13, 2020

The world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen (Montreal 1934 – Los Angeles 2016) has inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists. He was an extraordinary poet of sorrow and the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. We are privileged to have Cohen’s music, words, and performances inhabit both the Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal for six months, offering a critical celebration, loving tribute, and quiet commemoration of a vast artistic achievement, and inspiring life.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything is the first exhibition entirely devoted to the imagination and legacy of the influential singer/songwriter, man of letters, and global icon from Montreal, Canada.

Originally conceived by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the exhibition brings together commissioned artworks by visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians who have been inspired, influenced or otherwise moved by Cohen’s extraordinary oeuvre.


On view at the Nikolaj Kunsthal is a selection of works, among them: an archival video installation highlighting five decades of Cohen’s concert performances; an eighteen-video-screen chorus installation which centers around Cohen’s amazing comeback album, I’m Your Man, featuring ardent fans singing the entire album, accompanied by the choir from the Cohen family’s synagogue; and three stunning film works created by other artists.

The exhibition also includes the installation Listening to Leonard with recorded covers of Cohen songs produced, arranged, and performed by the following musicians and vocalists:

Ariane Moffatt with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; Aurora; Basia Bulat; Brad Barr; Chilly Gonzales and Jarvis Cocker with Kaiser Quartett; Dear Criminals; Douglas Dare; Feist; Half Moon Run; Julia Holter; Katinka; Leif Vollebekk; Li’l Andy and Joe Grass; Little Scream; Lou Doillon; Mélanie De Biasio; Moby; Socalled; Steen Jørgensen; The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Richard Reed Parry.


Participating Artists

Kara Blake Candice Breitz Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller Christophe Chassol Daily Tous Les Jours Tacita Dean Kota Ezawa George Fok Ari Folman Jon Rafman

Zach Richter Taryn Simon


Participating artists at Nikolaj Kunsthal

Candice Breitz, Christophe Chassol, Tacita Dean, George Fok, Zach Richter

Participating artists Kunstforeningen at GL STRAND

Kara Blake, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Daily tous les jours, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon


Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the exhibition is curated by John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, and Victor Shiffman, Co-Curator. The presentation in Copenhagen is coordinated by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in collaboration with Nikolaj Kunsthal.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec, thanks Leonard Cohen for his support of this exhibition. Robert Kory, Adam Cohen and Lorca Cohen provided invaluable assistance in the successful organization of this project.

The MAC also acknowledges the support of CBC/Radio-Canada and the National Film Board of Canada, as well as Sony Music and Sony ATV.

The exhibition in Copenhagen is made possible by our generous donors A.P. Møller and Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal, The Obel Family Foundation, Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond, The City of Copenhagen and The Danish Arts Foundation.


The exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything premiered in the fall of 2017 in Montreal, and was later presented in the spring of 2019 at the Jewish Museum in New York. In 2020 it travels to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

The exhibition can be seen at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal from October 24, 2019 to April 13, 2020. One ticket will buy you access to both art galleries.

During the entire exhibition, there will be a wide range of events, including talks, sessions, documentaries, yoga, concerts and intimate concerts organised by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal.