Over the centuries, few things have been written about as much or as often as art and love. In her profound new novel, Australian author Heather Rose becomes the latest in a long line of writers, thinkers, philosophers, and artists to explore the uniquely human topics, and these beautiful quotes from The Museum of Modern Love will inspire you to see what it is she has to say about them.
Inspired by artist Marina Abramović's 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Love follows Arky Levin, an accomplished composer of film scores who has hit a dead end in his personal and professional life. After his wife unexpectedly leaves him (for surprising and heartbreaking reasons the readers eventually learn), he struggles to produce good music and spends his days wandering around New York meditating on his failures and his shortcomings. That is, until one day when he stumbles upon an exhibit at MoMA that changes his life: The Artist is Present, Abramović's famous performance piece in which she sits silent and unmoving as visitors take turns sitting across from her. The moment Arky sets eyes on the strangely powerful installation, he is inexplicably drawn in, and for reasons he doesn't entirely understand, returns to see it every day.
So too does Jane, a tourist, art teacher, and grieving widow visiting the city after the death of her beloved husband. Instead of seeing what the Big Apple has to offer, Jane spends her vacation watching Abramović;s performance until she eventually decides to sit with the artist, an experience that changes her life. The novel introduces others who come to sit with Abramović: Healayas, an art critic and old friend of Arky's; Brittika, a graduate student, blogger, and passionate art lover; Carlos, a social media star who sits with the artist over a dozen times. There is also the looming presence of the ghost of Abramović's mother Danica, who watches her daughter's performance from above day in and day out, and the all-knowing, all-seeing muse who narrates the book. And of course, there is the character of Abramović herself, whose life is explored through flashbacks and a fascinating exploration of her past exhibits.
Rose's first adult novel published in the United States, The Museum of Modern Love is a tender meditation on art, love, grief, and life. Here are nine of its most beautiful quotes on the topics