pg1Peggy Guggenheim | Art Addict, Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s documentary about the trajectory of the career of socialite, collector and patron Peggy Guggenheim is a must-see for anyone who’s interested in modern art. Prepare yourself for a tsunami of names and riveting documentary footage – Peggy knew them all. Although initially an amateur collector, with tutelage from Marcel Duchamp she became a central figure in 20th Century art and over a few decades she would build one of the most important art collections in the world, which is now housed in her Venetian Palazzo.

Guggenheim saw art as a mirror to her own strangeness and used it to promote herself to become a person of interest. Unusually for that era, she was pretty free with her favours and open about the fact that she had a string of lovers – sex and art went hand in hand in her mind. Where the sex might occasionally have been used as a bartering tool, art became her way of finding herself emotionally. She saw herself as the ‘poor’ Guggenheim, receiving just $450000 on the death of her father and later, the same amount on the death of her mother. In her trademark, matter-of-fact delivery she makes it sound like chump change – yet that would have been more $7 million in today’s money – twice. Just sayin’.

pg2To tell her incredible story, Vreeland uses a lost taped interview she conducted late in her life to frame the story, and includes archival material and interviews with leading figures from the art world such as Marina Abramoviç, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Robert De Niro, Arne Glimcher, Larry Gagosian and many more. The result is a rich, multi-layered story of a woman who defied the conventions of her time to become a central figure of the 20th Century.

PEGGY GUGGENHEIM | ART ADDICT is out on DVD and VOD from Dogwoof. I strongly recommend buying the DVD – you will want to watch this several times.

Words by Anna Bang


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