Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
Time Out says
A documentary about the life of the respected art collector and social butterfly
Welcome to the fabulous world of art collector Peggy Guggenheim. The black sheep of New York’s filthy rich Guggenheim family, Peggy ran away to Europe in the 1920s to hang out with artists, reprobates and rebels. This doc, using recently rediscovered interviews recorded by her biographer, is a portrait of how Peggy transformed herself into an art-world mover and shaker.
In Paris she was mentored by Marcel Duchamp, married Max Ernst, discovered Pollock and had an affair with Samuel Beckett (consulting a psychic about whether to marry him) Peggy championed surrealism and abstract expressionism, but was dismissed and ridiculed by some as a rich, bored housewife. When she arrived at Picasso’s studio he said to her: ‘Madame, you will find the lingerie department on the second floor.’
That sneery sexism still lingers today. One art expert tells us that the reason she collected art was because she wasn’t pretty enough to make it as a society beauty. Misogyny aside, the impression that emerges is of a bulldozer of a woman, formidable and just a little self-centred. She’s an interesting figure but not perhaps not enough to carry an entire film.