The casino conglomerate MGM Resorts has acquired several contemporary artworks, following the high-profile $110m Sotheby’s sale of 11 Picasso works from its collection in October last year.
The acquisition includes works by Sanford Biggers, Ghada Amer, Derrick Adams, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Svenja Deininger and Tomás Esson. According to a statement from the organisation’s art department, MGM Art and Culture, the artists were selected in a bid to expand the breadth of the collection, which has a particular focus on European art, providing an expanded platform for living BIPOC, LBGTQIA+ and women artists.
Some of the pieces joining the collection include a newly-commissioned painting by Adams from a series titled Floater that depicts Black figures leisurely floating in pools or bodies of water, which will be appropriately installed near Park MGM’s pool entrance, and three-dimensional paintings from Johnson’s Cosmic Slop series, monochromatic multimedia works made from black soap and wax, which will be hung in the Aria casino’s promenade level.
The MGM collection is said to be worth around $200m and was amassed by the casino baron and art collector Steve Wynn, the former chief executive of Mirage Resorts, which was sold to MGM Resorts in 2000. Wynn kept half of the art collection in the deal, which was then said to be worth around $400m, purchasing works at book value. He later founded Wynn Resorts, and resigned in 2018 after he was embroiled in an alleged sexual misconduct case.
Works derived from Wynn’s collection decorate several Wynn and MGM properties throughout Las Vegas; five of the Picasso works sold in October were once hung in a French restaurant in the Bellagio casino that was fittingly called Picasso.