Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (15)

Apr 26, 2017
Cranbrook Film Society

A hilarious well crafted biography following the antics of the eccentric socialite Peggy Guggenheim as she pursues her obsession with creating a “Modern Art Gallery” in Venice…by whatever means pleasurable.

Lisa Immordino Vreeland | USA/Italy/UK | 2015 | 96 mins | 15

“Peggy Guggenheim, Art addict” is a biographical documentary written and conceived by Lisa Immordino Vreeland feminist filmmaker and fashionista. . It is probably the most perfect example of the art film biography ever made.
F. Scott. Fitzgerald wrote; “The rich are not like you and I”. This film is an exposition of just how right he was.

Heiress to a huge family fortune, this is the story of a socialite who could have passed unnoticed in the firmament of the rich and entitled but who preferred to create, for a mere forty thousand dollars, one of the most important Modern art collections on the planet and place it in a Venetian Palazzo.
The film unblinkingly and humorously unveils the unorthodox methods by which this eccentric genius acquired her collection and founded her galleries whilst simultaneously satisfying her more primal appetites.

The great pleasure of the narrative is the source material, the interviews with Peggy and the truly perspicacious use of library film and photographs. Never judgmental the narrator’s voice guides you through a life that is both triumphant and tragic letting those who knew her describe her in their own words as, amongst other things, a pioneer of women’s liberation, a passionate collector, a namedropper and a slut.

This is not the usual paean of uncritical admiration one has come to expect from such documentaries; “Peggy Guggenheim” is hilarious as well as incisively informative as to her immense importance.

For Peggy Guggenheim sex and art are an inseparable way of life and she has no scruples about how she acquires both whilst managing never to attain happiness. Her monument is her beautiful jewel of a gallery, which is a must for anybody interested in art or just visiting Venice.

Indeed it becomes clear that without this astute art collector the landscape of Modern Art as we know it would be very different, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Yves Tanguy, all were among the recipients of her encouragement and affections. Indeed it seems that were an aspiring artist to see Peggy crunching up the gravel towards him it would be hard to know whether to reach for the paying in book or the equivalent of Viagra.

Philip Bret-Day


            Weighted vote 84.2%