Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Dakota Group/Fischio Films/Submarine Entertainment/Madman
Following on from the terrific Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (about her husband’s grandmother) here director Lisa Immordino Vreeland turns her eye to another strong, individualistic woman who put her stamp entirely on the world she occupied; we move from fashion to art in this study of Peggy Guggenheim.
Guggenheim came from a well-to-do family, in the scheme of things she was one of the broke cousins, but she took the small fortune of inheritance (her father died aboard the Titanic) and began collecting art, working, travelling. She had an eye for the right things – she is credited with popularising, even discovering several key names.
She had friendships – and closer than that in some instances – with a famous rollcall: Duchamp, Beckett, Picasso; the now near household name, Jackson Pollock, might have remained a nobody were it not for the belief in his work that came from Peggy Guggenheim.
So it’s a fascinating life – eventually seeing galleries and museums to house these collections, and the stories of interacting with the artists, the stories we hear from critics and other big names (Robert DeNiro’s connecting being that his father was an artist) would all have made it a decent enough (and certainly worthy) documentary. But what takes it to the next level, the little piece of ‘documentary gold’ is an unearthed interview with Guggenheim herself.
So we hear her voice, it guides us through the images and artworks, gives us a sense of the character she found in the work and the character she was herself.
Something of a pioneer.
Breezily told but certainly fascinating, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict is an easy-to-like documentary. You learn something – regardless of your knowledge of the scene on entry, you’re entertained, your time is rewarded.