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Toronto art collector Ash Prakash triumphs in a bidding war at a Sotheby’s art auction

Ash Prakash expanded his art collection at Sotheby’s Canada’s live auction at the ROM Monday evening, scooping up a J.W. Morrice painting for a cool $1.5 million after apparently exchanging heated offers with Winnipeg-based gallerist David Loch, who has also been known to drop exorbitant sums of money in the Canadian art market. (Interesting aside: Loch is the former confidant of the late Kenneth Thomson, and Prakash is known to buy art on behalf of Kenneth’s son David.) Of course, Prakash wasn’t done there. He purchased two other Morrices the same night: a sketch called Venice for $82,000 and a garden scene for $232,500. These aren’t Prakash’s first major purchases. In 2008, he bought Tom Thomson’s Pine Trees at Sunset for a record $2 million. Thanks to Prakash’s buys and dozens more that day, the auction reported sales of nearly $8 million. If all this sounds a little excessive, rest assured that some 99-per-centers were also in attendance: demonstrators protested outside the ROM to support locked-out art handlers at Sotheby’s in New York City. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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