Art (And Commentary) By Leonard Cohen: He Refused To Ask A Single Question

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In a drawing called, “He Refused to Ask a Single Question”, the shape of the mouth determined the annotation for the drawing. “It’s a certain kind of toughness that I appreciate”, Cohen says, “you’ve just gotta take it, don’t ask anybody for an explanation, don’t try to penetrate this mystery that is completely unavailable to dismantling”.

Drawing by Leonard Cohen. Excerpt from Face Value: The Arts of Leonard Cohen by Robert Enright

Note: Originally posted May 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen shows his “doodles” but hopes “no one will feel obligated to buy anything”

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I am grateful to my friends in Oslo for the opportunity to showcase my doodles. I hope no one will feel obligated to buy anything.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From an article about the August 13, 2011 opening of an exhibition of Leonard Cohen’s art at a gallery in Oslo. The script on the drawing reads “Just one little guy, with an old tweed cap, against the whole stinking universe.”

For other comments by Leonard Cohen about his drawings and graphics, go to Leonard Cohen On His Art

Note: Originally posted August 10, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Art By Leonard Cohen: Only one thing made him happy and now that it was gone everything made him happy – 2007

onlyonething

Well, you know, just as play is deadly serious for children, so doodles are deadly serious for me.

Quote and sketch, Only One Thing by Leonard Cohen (2007), from Leonard Cohen by Robert Enright (Border Crossings, Issue No 194, Dec. 2007)

For other comments by Leonard Cohen about his drawings and graphics, go to Leonard Cohen On His Art

Leonard Cohen On His Deadly Serious Doodles

You Can't Emerge

You Can’t Emerge

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Just as play is deadly serious for children, so doodles are deadly serious for me.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

That line about doodles is originally from a 2007 interview with Winnipeg arts journalist Robert Enright for Border Crossings Magazine but is quoted in Leonard’s Legacy ‘doodles’ On Exhibit At Mayberry by: Carolin Vesely. Winnipeg Free Press: March 9, 2013.

That the writer did the requisite research to find a pertinent (and attributed) quote is consonant with the entire article being a step in quality above the usual “OMG – Leonard Cohen is a artist as well as a poet and singer” piece. Consider this excerpt:

Mayberry says he was initially reluctant to bring Cohen’s artworks to Winnipeg — they’re from the collection at Vancouver’s Granville Fine Art — because of the recent trend of galleries promoting celebrity painters, such as Burt Reynolds. That wouldn’t be Cohen’s style, he says. … At first glance, Cohen’s artworks do have the appearance of being quite amateur, says Mayberry co-owner Shaun Mayberry, but they end up being another vehicle for exploring his multi-layered prose. “He’s not pretending to be a visual artist, which I really respect,” he says. “They’re not laboured, they’re honest.”

The complete writeup can be accessed at Leonard’s Legacy ‘doodles’ On Exhibit At Mayberry.

For other comments by Leonard Cohen about his drawings and graphics, go to Leonard Cohen On His Art

Note: Originally posted March 9, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on striving for “the voluptuous feeling of simplicity” in his art

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It wasn’t simplicity I was after [in my drawings], it was the opposite, the voluptuous feeling of simplicity.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From  Leonard Cohen by Robert Enright (Border Crossings, Issue No 194, Dec. 2007). The art piece is Hydra Table #2.

Other comments by Leonard Cohen about his drawings and graphics can be found at Leonard Cohen On His Art

Note: Originally posted December 1, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

If There Were No Paintings – A Poem By Leonard Cohen About His Art

Green Chair (2008)

Green Chair by Leonard Cohen (2008)

If There Were No Paintings
By Leonard Cohen

Note: As has often been the case, this poem has been republished in association with a Leonard Cohen art exhibit. For information, see 50 Leonard Cohen Prints & Drawings On Exhibit At Gallery Poulsen In Copenhagen April 10-14, 2015. For other comments by Leonard Cohen about his drawings and graphics, go to Leonard Cohen On His Art

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
Acceptable Decorations.