Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

 

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Utilising tapes long thought lost, this survey of the life of the extraordinary art connoisseur Peggy Guggenheim allows her to tell it her way.

 

In 2011 Lisa Immordino Vreeland made a successful directorial debut with her documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. Now with equal success she turns her attention to a figure hardly less extraordinary, Peggy Guggenheim who lived from 1898 to 1979. This film presenting the life chronologically was already a project before audiotapes of interviews with Guggenheim’s official biographer, Jacqueline Bograd Weld, came to light. Made not long before her death, these tapes now make a central contribution to a film which blends historical footage, new interviews and, by way of illustration, views of many works of art that Peggy Guggenheim championed and went on to exhibit in museums in London, New York and Venice.

 

It was said of Peggy Guggenheim that she was a self-made person who was her own greatest creation – a description that underlines the parallels with Diana Vreeland. When Peggy was thirteen, she lost her father who went down on the Titanic and misfortune - tragedy indeed - would return later in her life. She married into the Guggenheim family but divorced after seven years and outlived her daughter who committed suicide at the age of forty-two. A later marriage to the painter Max Ernst was largely a marriage of convenience and Peggy Guggenheim really lived for art. Famous for her many affairs with artists, she was a woman with an outlook ahead of her time, but it is her support of modern artists (she had an instinct for contemporary art) that is most important historically while the museum in Venice which was her home from 1947 to 1979 remains her living memorial. This able, well-judged film tells us what we need to know about her.

 

MANSEL STIMPSON

 

Featuring  Jacqueline Bograd Weld, John Richardson, Karole Vail, Robert De Niro, Edmund White.


Dir Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Pro Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Stanley Buchtal, David Koh and Dan Braun, Ph Peter Trilling and Richard Blanchard, Ed Bernadine Colish and Jed Parker, Music Steven Argila. 


Dakota Group Ltd/Fischio Films/Submarine Entertainment/Bob & Co etc.-Dogwoof.
97 mins. USA/UK. 2015. Rel: 11 December 2015. Cert. 15.