The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

The Museum of Modern Love

“Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.” —from The Museum of Modern Love Arky Levin has reached a dead end. Unexpectedly separated from his wife, he suddenly has the space he needs to work composing film scores—but none of the peace of mind he needs to create. As he wanders the city, guilty and restless, it’s almost by chance that he stumbles upon an exhib...

Details The Museum of Modern Love

TitleThe Museum of Modern Love
Release DateNov 27th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Art, Contemporary, Book Club

Reviews The Museum of Modern Love

  • Diane S ☔
    Utterly fascinating. I love art, all forms, all ideas, and whenever I encounter a piece of artwork I like, I try to envision what the artist was thinking as he created. Oftentimes will find myself reading up on the artist, trying to understand. Marina Abromovic is a controversial figure in the art world, her live art has certainly drawn attention. Her expose at the MOMA in 2010, the artist is present, Drew some of the largest crowds ever at that ...
  • Carolyn
    I'm not at all artistic and don't always understand art, in particular performance art, so it was with some trepidation I opened this book not realising what a treat I was in for. I had never heard of the famous performance artist Marina Abramović and her 3 month performance called 'The Artist is Present' at MoMA in New York where she sat absolutely still for 7 hours/day and invited members of the public to sit opposite her and gaze into her in ...
  • Bianca
    4.5 starsI wanted to read The Museum of Modern Love since it came out a couple of years ago. I finally got my hands on it, as I anticipate seeing Heather Rose this weekend at the Perth Writers Festival.I'm not the biggest fan of books that bend the line of non-fiction with fiction. I am a huge art lover and I find Marina Abramovic fascinating, intriguing and quite extraordinary. The first time I came across Abramovic's name was by reading an ar...
  • Vanessa
    One of the characters asks...How do you define art? How do you answer that simply? To me it's something that is hard to pinpoint it's a feeling, it can bring joy, can cause confusion, it's pain, it's unadulterated happiness, it's an expression a way to connect with an audience it adds colour to dullness and makes people think, question and to look around the world with a different perspective. I love that it means something different to each indi...
  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.comIn 2010 a unique moving art performance titled ‘The Artist is Present’ was performed by Marina Abramovic at MoMA in New York for 75 days straight. This unique modern art experience is the driving force behind the story The Museum of Modern Love.The Museum of Modern Love is Heather Rose’s reimagining of the highly acclaimed moving art performance, staged at the infamous MoMA in New York, performed by art...
  • Paul Lockman
    This is only the second novel I have read in 2017 but I knew within a few pages of starting it that it was likely to be one my favourites for the year. I could have finished it in a day but deliberately paced myself and took nearly a week as I wanted to prolong the enjoyment. I am not an art enthusiast so the fact that the novel primarily revolves around a real life artist Marina Abramovic and her ‘exhibition’ “The Artist is Present” in t...
  • Anna Spargo-Ryan
    I liked this a lot. I'm a bit amazed it was written by an Australian -- something about it calls up the deep Americanness of authors like Franzen and Safran Foer. The white-privilegedness is probably part of that. These are mostly people who can afford to spend their time rubbing shoulders with celebrities at an art installation instead of going to work or being responsible for anyone else. That doesn't make the story any less interesting (not le...
  • Sarah
    I'm not even going to try and write a proper review of this, because I won't be able to do it justice. Such a unique premise - a novel following a handful of people whose lives become linked through (the real life exhibition) Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" at MOMA in New York. The story explores art, love, life among many other things and is fantastic in every way. Just go and read it.
  • Zena
    This book is based on Marina Abramovic who is a performance artist. Her piece "The artist is present" involved her sitting in a chair for 75 days and people sitting across from her. She didn't move, pee, eat, scratch, nothing. People from all around the world lined up and waited for hours just to get the chance to sit across from Abramovic. Some people cried, others were deeply moved and I was incredibly confused. This whole thing reminded me of ...
  • Heather
    Approximately 15 pages into The Museum of Modern Love, I decided that it was a contender for my favourite new release of the year. Two pages later I became concerned that if I kept on reading that it would take a turn for the worse and I’d end up hating it; I contemplated putting it down and never picking it up again because it just started out that good. Thankfully I didn’t stop reading, it didn’t take a turn for the worse, and it’s stil...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    I think it's easy for novels about ideas, art and artists to feel pretentious but Heather Rose manages to avoid that and she does it by delivering characters who feel so very real. Based around Abramovic's three-month long performance piece at MoMA, The Artist is Present, this book follows various people who visited or were involved in the piece. Full disclosure: I'm a huge Abramovic fan and may have stalked her in Geneva for a time (she smiled a...
  • Kimbofo
    What is art, and what is its purpose? These are the questions posed in The Museum of Modern Love, a fascinating book that blends fact with fiction, by Heather Rose.In this highly original novel, Rose takes a real life event and peoples it with interesting fictional characters who interact with a particular work of art, are changed by it and come away from it having learned something of themselves and of others.To read my review in full, please vi...
  • Mary D
    So bored reading this book. Very original, one star, at times some lovely, poignant writing, another star. But mostly I zoned out, took days to get back to reading it, felt like I was chewing the pages rather than reading them. Sure it rounded off nicely enough but win the Stella? Really??
  • Calzean
    Normally books about art and artists lose me. Not this time. The author centres her story around Marina Abramovic's 75 day long performance piece at MoMA. Her central character is Arky Levin, a successful composer whose wife has made him make a promise he does not want to keep.There are a few other characters dealing with their own issues but it is all about Marina, her art and how it impacts on people.It is a strange book with a ghost who narrat...
  • Philippa
    I'm already reading it again.Full review online at
  • Kate
    Some thoughts about The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose –01. This is easily one of the most original stories I’ve read. Ever.02. At first I thought some of the writing was a little twee. Then I changed my mind – it’s lovely.“When he was sixteen, his mother died. What do women who have drunk chamomile tea each night before bed, believed in invisible forces and played Chopin études before breakfast die of? A falling tree in a storm...
  • Lisa
    When I first opened the pages of this book at bedtime, I saw that I had to make a decision. The author explains that the novel is a hybrid of fact and fiction and some of the characters are, by permission, based on real living people. One of these, and central to the story, is performance artist Marina Abramović, but although her name was vaguely familiar I could not remember why. To be honest, although I look at and often enjoy contemporary art...
  • Zora
    Well that was a much richer reading experience than I was expecting. The biggest surprise was that the premise actually worked, apart from the unnecessary but mercifully brief pontifications from the Muse. Heather Rose gave me a fresh appreciation of Marina Abramovic, an artist I have mixed feelings about, but even more so she sucked me in with the constellation of characters that swirled around her, drawn to an exhibition that is here reclaimed ...
  • Rebecca
    Feel like I must be reading a different book than everyone else, boring and just wasn't keeping me entertained . Wish I could've seen what everyone else found so fascinating with this book, but sorry I can't.
  • Julie Holmes
    LOVED THIS. So many beautiful and pertinent comments on what it is to be an artist. I felt part of something bigger, that i'm not alone in this hard and challenging life.
  • Natasha Lester
    Beautiful. A must read.
  • Sharon Jarvis
    Having just finished reading The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose I am sitting here pondering about what I think and probably more importantly how I feel about this novel. It has an unusual setting of a live art exhibition in New York where the performer Marina Abramovic sits for seventy-five days during the and people come and sit opposite her. Although Marina is the centre piece there is also Archy Swann who is a music composer for films a...
  • Shelly
    Life's too short to read books you don't enjoy, but bookclub ladies can be scary if you do not finish what you start!And so under the premise of our bookclub mantra that we shall stretch our horizons and read books we would not normally, I stuck it out.To be honest back at university in my pretentious "I'm a well read and educated university student" days I probably would have loved it but these days reading is pure escapism for me.If you enjoy p...
  • Lesley Moseley
    I was certainly mesmerised!! Over the years I have heard about the central person, Marina and her actual artistic 'exhibitions'... (installations?).. This book is such an amazing marriage of fact and fiction; I felt that ALL the people were in fact, real. Made me check out more about Marina Abramovic's : The Artist is Present. Fascinating. Hopeful idea that learning to 'get still', can clarify tangled emotions and give courage to make difficult d...
  • Suzie
    Way too arty-farty for my taste. Some storylines I liked but they tended to be short snapshots - such as Jane from Georgia, and the Japanese director.
  • Mandy
    Performing Arts? More, please.Performance Art? I just don't get it and I am not interested enough to try to appreciate or understand it. I should have listened to Doubting Thomas me in the bookshop when he said "Performance Art, don't buy it!" But, Conceited Book Snob me said "It won the Stella, you should read it" and, as usual, Thomas was right and Smartarse was wrong.Two stars because Heather Rose is clearly a talented writer and I am guessing...
  • Nicole
    I didn't see this coming...but this book has knocked Ray Bradbury's, Dandelion Wine, off the number one best book ever position. Inarguably THE BEST book I have ever read! I had not known anything about Marina Abramovic, apart from her being an artist. Before I started reading I did some background research about her and was intrigued. This book chose me for a couple of reasons: 1- I had read a book by this author, The Butterfly Man, some years a...
  • Tracey
    Bliss. Art & Life. Beautiful book.
  • Susie Anderson
    immediately after finishing it seemed like this book was the book to send me completely head over heels for Abramovic and her work. but having let the book sink in for a week, I am still feeling the effect of the complicated and under developed storylines. it was an interesting approach, a good concept to follow the lives of those who were enraptured by her performance 'the artist is present'. sure, try to untangle the reason why sharing eye cont...
  • Kirsten
    This is a brilliant concept, a novel centred around Marina Abramovic's The Artist is Present show and I really wanted to love it but I'm going to have to settle for merely liking it. And I can't really put my finger on why it didn't work for me. I loved the exploration of ideas around art and love and personal history and of life and death. Some passages were quite moving but other parts of the book seemed clunky and awkward. Arky annoyed the hel...