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work in relation to an artist Options
Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 8:02:20 AM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
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I'd like to know whether the noun "work" in relation to an artist's productions is countable or uncountable.
Are both the following sentences correct, if both refer to his paintings?

a. His work is very expensive. (uncountable in use)
b. His works are very expensive. (countable, plural in use)

I'd appreciate your help.
Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 9:52:03 PM
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"His work", everything an artist has produced, taken as a whole, can be considered uncountable; but generally speaking, you would refer to the individual (and countable) things produced by an artist as "his works". Thus the sentence (b) "His works are very expensive" is grammatical and would be preferred as more normal and colloqial. Sentence (a) is grammatical as far as it goes, but it's inferior to sentence (b).
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021 10:00:19 AM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
What Tautophile said.

TFD can be very helpful. Here's the entry for "body of work".
Noun 1. body of work - the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it); "he studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre"; "Picasso's work can be divided into periods"
oeuvre, work

(Oeuvre is a good word to know -- look it up.)

Plus, I believe if you wanted to make reference to the individual items the artist created, using a general term, you would more likely use the word pieces.
These pieces are very expensive.
Or you would identify the object by type, as in, These paintings are very expensive.
The artist's paintings are very expensive.

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