Notorious former casino magnate Steve Wynn has paid around $105 million for a pair of Picasso paintings from Donald Marron’s collection, reports the Wall Street Journal. The sale is the first high-profile purchase made from the Marron estate, which upended the art world last week when a trio of mega-galleries— Pace, Gagosian, and Acquavella—announced they would sell the works, beating out the world’s biggest auction houses for the lucrative consignment.
The two paintings, Femme au beret et la collerette (Woman with Beret and Collar) (1937) and Femme assise (Jacqueline) (1962), were some of the most sought-after pieces in the estimated $450-million Marron collection, which also includes works by Modern art titans Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko. According to the Journal, nearly $200 million worth of art from the estate has already found buyers. Much of the collection, including the two Picasso paintings, will go on view on April 24th as part of a joint exhibition organized by the three galleries.
Wynn has had a long history in dealing with Picasso works. In 2006, he famously stuck his elbow through Le Rêve (1932) while attempting to sell the painting to hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen. He had the portrait repaired and sold it to Cohen seven years later for $155 million. Two years ago, Wynn attempted to sell Le Marin (1943), estimated at $70 million, at Christie’s, but the painting was pulled due to damage from a falling painter’s pole. The auction house restored the piece but it was not resold.
Wynn has been the subject of controversy outside of the art world as well. In 2018, he resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts after a string of sexual misconduct allegations. Wynn has denied the accusations.