Steve Wynn’s newly repaired $139 million Picasso joins New York show at Acquavella Galleries

September 29th, 2008

Le Rêve, Pablo Picasso (1932) via Ocasionalidades

The $139 million Picasso painting, Le Rêve, that was damaged in 2006 by billionaire Stephen Wynn will be publicly shown for the first time since the accident at Acquavella Galleries in New York City.  Stephen Wynn, the operator of a Las Vegas casino and one of the most significant art collectors in the world, damaged the Picasso painting when he accidentally bumped it with his elbow back in 2006, only hours after agreeing to sell it to Steven Cohen for $139 million.  The sale was canceled due to the damage of the painting.  Since then, the painting has been repaired and will be included in the upcoming Picasso exhibit opening October 15 at Acquavella Galleries. The exhibit will include an estimated $500 million worth of artwork, much of which is not for sale.

Watch Those Elbows: Wynn’s $139 Million Picasso Joins N.Y. Show [Bloomberg]
Acquavella To Show Wynn’s Damaged Picasso [NYSun]
Steve Wynn’s Repaired Picasso Joins New York Show [Artinfo]
The $40-Million Elbow [New Yorker]

Pablo Picasso’s Le Rêve via Artdaily

I think very highly of this painting,” New York dealer David Nash said of ‘Le Rêve.’ “It’s one of the most sensuous of the whole series, with its famous double profile and erotic appeal.

Wynn originally purchased Le Rêve in 2001 for an unknown amount from investor Wolfgang Flottl. Bloomberg reports that Flottl had paid $48.4 million for the painting in 1997 at a Christie’s auction. After the canceled sale of the painting in 2006 to collector Steven Cohen, it has been residing in Wynn’s personal Las Vegas office.  Since the $90 million restoration of the painting following the incident, there is apparently no damage detectable to the naked eye, but still appears flawed under a black light. Nick Acquavella, the gallery director, has said that Wynn has “no intention of selling it”.

Stephen Wynn via Gawker

In 2007, Wynn sued insurer Lloyd’s of London for the $54 million drop in value as a result of the damage. After analysis of the damage, it was reported that the painting was only worth $85 million. The unfortunate 2006 accident was explained as a consequence of an eye disease that Wynn suffers from that affects his peripheral vision.