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Pegeen Vail Guggenheim, the forgotten Artist



Pegeen Vail GuggenheimMore than 40 years ago, Peggy Guggenheim was informed of her daughter's death Pegeen by a telegram while on a trip to Mexico. In her autobiography, Peggy Guggenheim wrote, "(this was in Mexico) I was informed of the terrible news of the death of my daughter, my darling Pegeen that was for me a mother, a friend and a sister.. "

Pegeen Vail Guggenheim was long forgotten.
Her little son, Benjamin Hélion with Benjamin Lanot, both authors bring to life the painter in an illustrated biography. At the same time an exhibition is devoted to the Guggenheim in Venice to celebrate Pegeen and her painting.

In 2009 the two authors decided to spent more than a year of work to achieve this first illustrated biography tribute to this young artist disappeared in 1967.

But who is Pegeen?
Born in Switzerland in 1925, Pegeen Vail Guggenheim is the granddaughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who died on the Titanic in 1912 and the daughter of Peggy Guggenheim, one of the most important collectors of Art History.

Obviously influenced by her education, her travels and her family environment, the surrealism that marks her artistic work and especially the seal of the naive style. The closeness with her stepfather, Max Ernst, meetings with artists like Yves Tanguy, her wedding to Jean Hélion and later with Ralph Rumney explain her art.

Pegeen Vail GuggenheimIn 1943, Pegeen met the French painter Jean Helion, one of the introducers of abstract art in the United States, a close friend of Piet Mondrian and Fernand Leger. She married in 1946. Settled in Paris, Jean Hélion and Pegeen have three children: Fabrizio, David and Nicolas. In 1956, they split and Pegeen joined her mother in Venice with her youngest son, Nicolas.

The year 1957 was a turning point in her life. Pegeen Vail Guggenheim met the English painter Ralph Rumney at the opening of an exhibition of Francis Bacon at the Hanover Gallery. She married the following year. Ralph Rummey, unlike Jean Helion, is a new realistic, co-founder of the Situationist International, founded by Guy Debord and especially Piero Simondo.

Her work was always influenced by many artistic exchanges. Exposed to multiple occasions such as New York, London, Paris, Milan, she was recognized as a unique artist and alongside with other artists known as Kay Sage, Leonora Carrington, Lee Krasner, Dorothea Tanning or Frida Kahlo.
Pegeen Vail's career Guggenheim is broken in 1967 by her sudden death at the age of 41 years.

Thanks to the tenacity of Benjamin Hélion and Benjamin Lanot, the Art History of Pegeen is revealed and at the same time they have convinced the Guggenheim in Venice to finally celebrate the artist disappeared by an exhibition.

To go further :

The publishing house :

Pegeen Vail Guggenheim
Portfolio by Pegeen Vail Guggenheim


-1 # Bon article qui nous redonne des clefs h
PHOTOBIS 2010-10-08 12:42
Bon article d'introduction qui nous redonne à la fois des clefs historiques et artistiques, bien souvent les femmes artistes ont été totalement ignorées ou platement oubliées, surtout lorsque celles-ci avaient comme partenaires d'illustres hommes à leurs côtés, certaines lumières peuvent ainsi en assombrir d'autres. Mais sous le regard de l'Histoire, toute lumière est de nouveau révélée à sa juste valeur.

Marc Maldinez
Directeur de Photobis - CERCLE
Commissaire d'exposition
Critique & Rédacteur

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