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William Kurelek's Kensington Market work fetches $472K at auction

A painting by Canadian artist William Kurelek sold in a Toronto auction for $472,000 — the second highest on record for the artist and more than double its estimated value of $150,000 and $200,000.

High prices achieved for Kurelek, Charles Comfort paintings

Hot Day in Kensington Market, a major work by Canadian prairies painter William Kurelek, soared to a final price of $472,000 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art Auction in Toronto on Tuesday. (Consignor Canadian Fine Art )

A painting by Canadian artist William Kurelek sold in a Toronto auction for $472,000 — the second highest on record for the artist and more than double its estimated value of $150,000 and $200,000.

Consignor Canadian Fine Art says the 1972 paining, titled Hot Day in Kensington Market, is one of 21 works in Kurelek's Toronto series depicting life in the city where the Alberta-born artist found commercial success and raised a family.

The auction house says a second painting by Kurelek, Hauling Hay, fetched $94,400.

Kurelek was born in Alberta in 1927 and his family later moved to Stonewall, Man. He attended high school in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba with an arts degree in 1949. He died at the age of 50 in 1977.

The auction house says the most surprising result of Tuesday night's auction was a record set for Canadian artist Charles Comfort, whose piece Smokestacks, Copper Cliff sold for $33,040, which was six times its estimate of $3,000 and $5,000.

The painting is one of several preparatory sketches to the final canvas, Smelter Stacks, Copper Cliff, which is in the National Gallery of Canada's permanent collection.

All prices include an 18 per cent buyer's premium.

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