Las Vegas auction sells Picasso paintings for over $100 million
The rare auction of 11 Picasso works took place two days before his 140th birthday
Picasso artworks sold for more than $100 million at the largest fine art auction to take place in Las Vegas.
The rare auction of 11 Picasso works took place two days before his 140th birthday. MGM Resorts collaborated with Sotheby’s, selling works as part of a move to better focus on a more diverse and inclusive portfolio.
"It’s an honor to collaborate with Sotheby’s to bring this first-of-its-kind art and entertainment experience to Las Vegas and embark on this momentous auction," Ari Kastrati, MGM Resorts’ Chief Hospitality Officer, said in a statement. "We welcome millions of visitors from around the world annually throughout our resorts, giving us a tremendous platform for showcasing diverse perspectives within the art community."
The auction also marks the first time Sotheby’s marquee "Evening Sale" has taken place outside of its signature New York venue. Sotheby’s broadcast the sale worldwide via live stream.
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The works spanned 50 years of the Spanish master’s career and included paintings, works on paper and ceramics.
Five of the paintings hung on the walls of the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Picasso. The 1938 painting "Femme au Beret Rouge-Orange" fetched the highest price at $40.5 million, surpassing the pre-sale estimate, Reuters reported.
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Even small ceramic works by the artist sold for around $2 million – around three or four times their pre-sale estimate.
The buyers’ names were not disclosed.
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"It is a privilege to present this exemplary selection of works by Picasso from the MGM art collection in a special auction to support MGM Resorts in evolving their collection to represent a broader and more diverse group of artists," said Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s Chairman and Worldwide head of sales for Global Fine art. "As one of the most famous, beloved and accomplished artists of all time, we couldn’t imagine anyone better than Picasso to inaugurate this unique art and culture experience."
The Bellagio will continue to showcase a dozen Picasso paintings in its restaurant after the auction. The Bellagio Fine Arts Collection started in 1998 when the Bellagio opened and comprises 900 works by 200 artists, including modern works by Bob Dylan and David Hockney.
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The collection will use the funds to purchase more works by women, people of color and emerging nations as well as LGBTQ artists and artists with disabilities.