Today I’d like to tell you about a movie – a must-see one for all art lovers and strong women out there. ‘Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict’ (Peggy Guggenheim. Ein Leben für die Kunst) is about one of my personal icons – Peggy Guggenheim (1898 – 1979). It’s a 2015 American documentary film directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and it finally hit German cinemas. The film premiered on April 20, 2015 at the Tribeca Film Festival last year.
The movie portrays the life of art collector Peggy Guggenheim: A life in the cultural upheaval of the 20th century, with dramatic affairs and relationships with some of the greatest artists of the 20th century such as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock or Marcel Duchamp.
Based on a 96-minute recording of interviews by Jacqueline Bograd Weld from 1978 – 1979, which was believed to be lost, the movie reconstructs Peggy’s life by letting her speak for herself and accompanying it by the stories of famous people from the art world who knew the famous collector or relate to her somehow. The used interviews were the last recordings that were made prior to Peggy Guggenheim’s death and she shared all her life’s memories in them.
She was definitely one of the most interesting women I’ve ever heard about. Being kind of the black sheep in her super rich family (her uncle was the founder of the Guggenheim museum in New York) she started to be a rebel pretty early in her life and never did anything the world expected from her. She was strong, independent and way ahead of her times and she lived for her art. You just have to adore her. Her story is an exciting journey through the uncertain and exciting beginnings of 20th century and it’s great to finally have the chance to hear and see her talk about it. She was as intriguing and eccentric as the art she collected all her life and therefore it’s great that they show a lot of it in the film, too.
‘Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict’ is a glimpse into the world of a colorful character, who was not only ahead of her time but also helped to define it. If you love art and stories of powerful, strong women you need to see that movie! I can also recommend the autobiography Peggy Guggenheim wrote. It’s a really exciting book, but you need to get it from an antiquarian because it was censored after the fourth edition because the publishing house decided it had too much sex in it. So the versions you get in stores today is the more boring one. I got one of the original versions and it’s much better and much more interesting. Peggy Guggenheim lived a ‘Sex and the City’ lifestyle long before it was suitable at all and collected men as much as art. You get a lot of that part of her story in the movie, too. You get a very nice first impression on it by watching the trailer:
#direction | Lisa Immordino Vreeland
#production| Stanley Buchthal, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, David Koh, Dan Braun
#editor | Bernadine Colish, Jed Parker
#camera | Peter Trilling
#music | Steven Argila
cover image: Peggy Guggenheim in a horse carriage. © Roloff Beny / Courtesy of National Archives of Canada