Françoise Gilot

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The Collector: How Ash Prakash became the preeminent art dealer for the country’s wealthiest families

A look at the reclusive art collector renowned for his connections, his discretion, and his secret stash of multi-million-dollar masterpieces

The Collector: How Ash Prakash became the preeminent art collector for the country’s wealthiest families

One evening last November, at the Sotheby’s auction in the ROM’s Currelly Gallery, Ash Prakash entered into a heated bidding war with David Loch, a Winnipeg-based art dealer. The coveted object was a dreamy, impressionistic early-20th-century canvas by the Quebec artist James Wilson Morrice entitled Evening Stroll, Venice, which depicts a moody twilight scene of women bustling past the gondolas on the lagoon. Prakash wanted the painting for his personal collection, and put in several bids. He paused as the price soared over a million—he hadn’t expected the piece to be so dear. He knew through the grapevine that Loch was bidding on behalf of a client, which only hardened his resolve: he was spending his own money, and he was determined to win.

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The Informer

Culture

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Sneak Preview: a photo tour of the much-anticipated Picasso exhibit at the AGO

On May 1, the much anticipated “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée Picasso, Paris” exhibit begins its three-and-a-half-month stint at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Considered the Picasso collection by Picasso, the 5,000 works on display represent actual pieces that Picasso kept for himself and his family over the course of his career. The exhibit is arranged in seven different rooms and takes you through Picasso’s varied career, from the beginning to days before his death. The exhibit includes everything from informal sketchbooks to iconic masterpieces, and Anne Baldassari, chairman and chief curator from the Musée National Picasso, describes the carefully selected collection as “a true chronology of his life.” You get a feel for his love of women through various nudes and portraits of his lovers (Olga Khokhlova, Dora Maar and Françoise Gilot), and the exhibition explores his constant experimentation with styles (blue and pink periods, African art-inspired works, grotesque surrealism and radical cubism). Picasso was famously quoted as saying, “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it,” and he has now filled seven rooms of one. (Whew!)

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