Montreal, November 13, 2018—It’s official: the tour of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), will begin in the United States, at the Jewish Museum in New York City, starting April 12 and running through September 8, 2019. The tour will then continue on to Copenhagen, at the Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal in October 2019; followed by San Francisco in September 2020, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Plans are underway to extend this first phase of the tour and add other destinations. With this tour, the MAC joins forces with renowned museums in cultural capitals around the world, and strengthens its presence on the international art scene as many of its exhibitions are currently touring. The Museum also achieves its objectives of presenting and promoting Québec, Canadian and international artists, as well as promoting Montréal, Leonard Cohen’s hometown.

Developed as part of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything was inaugurated on November, 9, 2017, at the MAC, one year after the death of Leonard Cohen. A record number of 315,000 visitors attended the exhibit, making it one of the most viewed in the Museum’s history.

“I find it extremely moving to tour this exhibition, which was one of MAC’s greatest successes and also one of the most beautiful exhibitions I had the pleasure to organize in my life,” said John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC. “The great interest it piques on the international scene confirms the colossal impact of the work of Leonard Cohen, whose legacy remains alive and current despite his passing. I am extremely pleased that Cohen fans around the world will have the opportunity to discover this exhibition that has reached such a wide audience in Montreal, from all backgrounds and ages. It’s also exciting to know that the exhibition will travel around the world at a time when the MAC’s local offerings will be reduced due to the Museum’s renovations,” he added.

The MAC was honoured to have received Leonard Cohen’s personal approval and endorsement for the project. “When we came up with the idea for this exhibition, we went to seek the agreement of Leonard Cohen, who accepted because of the angle we were proposing. It was important for him that this exhibit would not be of a biographical nature. From the start, the project was conceived as a contemporary artistic exploration of a life’s work, and in that sense, he was thrilled to be able to inspire other artists through his art. Given his recent death, our exhibition has taken on a new meaning. It has also become a tribute to a local icon and a global star,” explained John Zeppetelli.

The tour schedule

The Jewish Museum
New York City, United States
April 12, 2019 – September 8, 2019

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal
Copenhagen, Danemark
October 23, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Contemporary Jewish Museum
San Francisco, United States
September 17, 2020 – January 3, 2021


“I greatly admire Leonard Cohen’s use of language and acute observations on the human condition. By presenting Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything to New York audiences, we look forward to offering our visitors this opportunity to experience contemporary works of art that powerfully evoke the essence of Leonard Cohen’s moving and thought-provoking songs and poems.”

– Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director of the Jewish Museum, New York 

“We are proud to present Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal in the fall of 2019. The exhibition offers a unique way of showing the legacy, life and work of one of the greatest writers and singers of our time. We are happy to give the Copenhagen audience the opportunity to experience this highly innovative art exhibition.”

– Helle Behrndt, Director of Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, Copenhagen 

“The Contemporary Jewish Museum looks forward to presenting this luminous exhibition in 2020. As the west coast exclusive, we are thrilled to share the late Leonard Cohen’s life and the artistic responses it inspired with our diverse audiences. Cohen’s many creative contributions transcend time and place, and we cannot think of a more fitting space to exhibit his life and work than in a museum whose very architecture proclaims ‘life.”

– Lori Starr, Executive Director, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

About the exhibition

A truly multidisciplinary exhibition combining visual art, virtual reality, installations, music and writing, Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything offers the public a collection of new works created by a remarkable group of local and international artists who have been inspired by Leonard Cohen’s life, work and legacy. The audience is invited to experience an in-depth, immersive, participatory and visually captivating journey, through an exhibition devoted to the critical celebration, loving tribute and quiet commemoration of a vast artistic achievement and inspiring life.

The exhibition, which ran five months, was accompanied by a series of five concerts. A major catalogue—the 400th published by the MAC since the creation of the Museum in 1964—details this unique exhibition by tracing the two years of preparation preceding its opening. It includes texts by curators John Zeppetelli and Victor Shiffman, artists, Leonard Cohen’s biographer Sylvie Simons and author Chantal Ringuet.

Works on Tour

The MAC leverages the expertise of its curators and technical teams who work with museums to tailor the exhibit and create a unique presentation for each destination. The selection of works may vary from one museum to another, depending on the specific needs and availability of space. The following artists are confirmed for the tour:

Kara Blake, Candice Breitz, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Christophe Chassol, Daily tous les jours, Tacita Dean, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Jon Rafman, Zach Richter, The Sanchez Brothers and Taryn Simon.

Leonard Cohen’s self-portraits are also presented as part of the exhibition, as well as the audio installation Listening to Leonard, where visitors can listen to cover versions of Cohen’s songs performed by guest artists, including Feist, Lou Doillon, Moby, and The National with Sufjan Stevens, Richard Reed Parry and Ragnar Kjartansson.


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal wishes to first thank Leonard Cohen, who gave his generous consent to the exhibition concept while alive. The MAC also wishes to thank the family and friends of Cohen, in particular Robert Kory, Adam Cohen and Lorca Cohen, who provided important support for the organization of this exhibition.

The MAC is pleased to be associated with local institutional partners who have generously contributed to the production of this exhibition. The MAC extends its warm thanks to CBC/Radio-Canada, the exhibition presenter and creator of exclusive content for the exhibition. CBC/Radio-Canada also made its archives available at no charge to the artists creating work for this project.

The MAC also wishes to thank its exhibition partners: DeSerres, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Co-curatorial partners provided support in the realization of this exhibition. The MAC wishes to thank the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), which also made their full archives available free-of charge to the artists. The MAC and NFB are co-curators and coproducers of a work of art with the Daily tous les jours collective.

The MAC thanks Sony Music and Sony ATV for granting permission to use the songs and archival video material of Leonard Cohen to the artists and for the purpose of the exhibition.

The MAC greatly appreciates the contribution of partners who directly supported the creation of artworks by the artists: Goethe-Institut (Candice Breitz), Spotify (Daily tous les jours), Audio Z (George Fok), Consulate General of Israel in Montreal and the Swiss Institute (Ari Folman), as well as Lytro (Zach Richter).

The exhibition’s presentation in New York is supported by the Québec Government Office in New York and has additional funding from the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, for which the MAC is grateful.

The MAC is a provincially owned corporation funded by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The MAC acknowledges the support of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a partner for educational activities, and of the National Bank of Canada, a partner of the Museum’s and the Foundation’s events.

Finally, the Musée sincerely thanks the following for their generous support: The Azrieli Foundation, the Stephen and Lillian Vineberg Family Foundation, Nick Tedeschi and Sal Guerrera, and Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive Permanent Collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond. 

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]