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Toronto auction of contemporary Canadian art grosses $170,000

A live Toronto auction Thursday billed as the first commercial sale devoted solely to premium contemporary Canadian art grossed almost $170,000, results filed Friday by Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects show.

The tally, including 20 per cent buyer's premium, was realized on the sale of 32 lots. Sixty-nine lots were up for bidding, with a value by estimate of $407,500 to $546,400. The lot that fetched the most – $19,200 – was a 1984 female nude tempera on wood panel by Kitchener, Ont., painter Jeremy Smith. Among the artists whose work failed to sell were Ian Wallace, Harold Feist, Ken Lum, Lynne Cohen, Suzy Lake and Micah Lexier.

Concrete was established late last year by long-running Toronto auction house Waddington's to focus, build and eventually profit from resale interest in fine Canadian art beyond that produced by such long-dead auction staples as the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Tom Thomson.

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