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Press release for immediate distribution

One of our greatest artists showcased at the

Galerie Lounge TD

The Leonard Cohen Artworks exhibition in Montreal at last
February 18 to May 9, 2010
Free admission

Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - The MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival and the Galerie Lounge TD are proud to invite the public to visit, free of charge, the latest exhibition featured at the gallery on the second floor of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan: the Leonard Cohen Artworks Exhibition. The Galerie Lounge TD has the great privilege of presenting the visual artworks of the great poet, novelist and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, for the first time in Montreal. After captivating the world for four decades with his powerful lyrics, timeless melodies and enveloping voice, this Montreal prodigy is now lifting the veil on his private life by offering us a glimpse of his drawings and sketches. This exhibition of these original artworks and high-quality digitally reproduced drawings will run from February 18 to May 9, 2010, as part of the MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival’s cultural program, Sun Life Financial Performing Arts. Admission is free.

Leonard Cohen has sketched, drawn and doodled at length. As he puts it, he “decorates his notebooks,” and has been drawing relentlessly since the early days of his career. From watercolours to oil pastels, and charcoal to computer, with an acute sense of observation and humour, the artist quickly renders the shapes of the things and people around him, including the reflection of his own face with its all-familiar traits. His drawings, which he never intended to exhibit, are spontaneously executed and annotated, with no restraint and with a sense of humour. Recently, Cohen agreed to show his artwork to the general public, who can now discover yet another facet of his boundless creativity.

Leonard Cohen is a veritable monument: a song and literary icon, he is regarded as one of the most important and influential singers-songwriters of our time. From the early 1950s, he made a name for himself through his poetry and later novels. And we all know the hit albums that followed, the songs that were engraved in our collective memories for ever and that made Cohen one of the best-known Montrealers on the planet. Cohen is synonymous with 40 years of songs, many of them classics that shaped and confirmed a totally unique signature. In 2008, at the age of 74, he returned to the live stage after a 15-year hiatus to sing at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, where he was given the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award in honour of the quality and innovation of his work and his determining impact on popular music worldwide. This year, Cohen will receive (at the same time as Michael Jackson) a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award featuring his whole career.

It is therefore with great pride that we present his original artworks and a selection of some 50 high-quality digitally reproduced drawings, which are titled, numbered and dated by Cohen himself, and all stamped and embossed with the artist’s personal seal. They are digital reproductions printed in editions of 100 on Arches watercolour paper. Some of these works will be available for purchase.

The Galerie Lounge TD

Permanently installed on the second floor of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (a non-profit organization) in an airy, spacious location featuring a comfortable lounge perfect for contemplation or conversation, the Galerie Lounge TD showcases the original works of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal collection, many of which the general public rarely has a chance to see. They include the creations of Jean-Paul Riopelle, Marcel Barbeau, Corno, Armand Vaillancourt, Francis X. Pavy, Zïlon, Lhasa De Sela, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Frédéric Back, Miyuki Tanobe and Yves Archambault, artist in residence and the Festival’s poster designer for over 20 years. Limited-edition signed and numbered silkscreens are also on display, including works by Robert Lapalme and Alfred Pellan, which can be bought exclusively at the Galerie Lounge TD.

In addition to its permanent collection, the Galerie Lounge TD presents large-scale exhibitions featuring world-renowned artists, painters and photographers. In summertime, the Galerie relocates to a tent erected outside on the Festival site, right in the heart of the action.

Revenues from sales at the Galerie Lounge TD provide crucial support for the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, a non-profit corporation, and serve to finance some of its free activities.

The MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival and the Galerie Lounge TD wish to thank the Gouvernement du Québec and the Government of Canada for their contributions to the outfitting and specialized equipment of the Galerie Lounge TD, specifically, Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition feminine, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada Economic Development.

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