MODERN MASTERPIECE

Published November 6, 2015

PHOTO: ROLOFF BENY/COURTESY OF NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA.

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict takes its name from the legendary art patron’s own words, explaining her life’s obsession: “I became an addict, and I sort of couldn’t help it anymore.” Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the documentary takes a close look at Guggenheim‘s time in Paris and London in the 1920s and ’30s, where she immersed herself in circles that included Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst—and initiated the first of many affairs with artists and writers. Returning to New York during World War II, she brought in tow the beginnings of what would become an unparalleled collection of modern art. It was soon supplemented with the works of budding abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock. She eventually relocated to her famous Venice palazzo, now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. But with a history of harrowing personal losses, including her father, sister, lovers, and daughter, perhaps Guggenheim craved the art she did for its promise to be eternal, and through her unrelenting passion, she made it so.