She was the daughter of the art collector Peggy Guggenheim and the writer Laurence Vail, and the granddaughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who died on the RMS Titanic in 1912.Pegeen Vail Guggenheim was born in Ouchy, Switzerland and spent her childhood in France and England. In 1941, she left Europe for the United States with her mother, Peggy Guggenheim and Max Ernst, who would later become her stepfather. While in the United States, she studied at the prestigious Finch College.
In 1943, she met the French painter, Jean Hélion, who, along with his friends Piet Mondrian and Fernand Léger, helped introduce abstract art in the United States. Guggenheim married Hélion in New York in 1946. The couple moved to Paris the same year. They had three children together: Fabrice, David, and Nicolas Hélion. When they divorced in 1956, Pegeen left Paris with her youngest son, Nicolas, to live with her mother in Venice.
Guggenheim died in Paris on March 1, 1967, after overdosing on medication. She struggled all her life with depression.
"The world Pegeen creates is somehow more authentic than the real world because it seems closer to heaven on earth. No culpability tarnishes its colors or weighs upon its figures. After his expulsion, Adam with his pure heart traced perfect representations of vengeful bison on hidden cave walls. What was Eve doing? Probably listening to cries that she was guilty. But here, as Prévert says: ‘God has been expelled from heaven on earth’ and it is ‘the new season’. ‘A fertile ground- a childlike moon- a hospitable sea- a smiling sun- at the edge of the water- girls embodying the spirit of the times.’ Pegeen Hélion belongs to this race of ‘ambrosial children.Wikipedia