Fine Art/abstract


QUESTION: Hello Timothy,

would abstract paintings done by a living artist fall under your area of expertise?

I want to know if these are any good, as i am thinking of purchasing one for my office -

In particular i am thinking of these two,

They are all original. I think the artist paints the same painting over several times and sells them. So maybe they are classified as reproductions. But it is the artist himself doing the reproductions.

So do you think they would be good for an office, where other people may meet me from time to time and see the paintings?

Thank you,

ANSWER: Hi Will,

Yes, as well as an art historian I'm also an art dealer so I know the contemporary market well!

The first thing I'd advise you would be to buy what you like. There's nothing worse than having a picture on your wall that you disliked because someone told you to buy it.

If I put my consultants cap on, I'd say that whilst I can see the appeal of these paintings, (no disrespect to the artist intended) I'm certain that he won't be the next Damien Hirst. These would fall under the decorative art category, and at 80 bucks are inexpensive - buying a poster and having it framed would cost you more.

So the answer would be, great for the office - they'd certainly have impact and cheer the place up, and it's always good to support any living artist because it's a mostly financially unrewarding lifestyle - but as an investment they would offer no returns.

If you were to buy for investment, you'd have to double or triple the price and it may prove difficult to find something that was as pleasing to your eye.

Best wishes,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is it possible for a print that is not a limited run to appreciate in value with time?


Hi Will,

It's highly unlikely for a print that isn't a limited run to appreciate in value with time - there are few exceptions to this rule - for example, Tretchikoff's reproduction prints have appreciated in value because they've become post-modern kitsch, but the conditions that created this phenomenon are very rare indeed and involve a number of contributing factors.

Best wishes,

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Timothy Lawrence Williams MA (Hons)


I can answer all questions on Fine Art, particularly the indentification of pictures (paintings, prints etc). My specialist areas are old master prints, printmaking, early Flemish painting, Dutch golden age painting, fin-de-siecle, Impressionism, Victorian, all British painting.


I've worked for the National Gallery, London and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in research and curatorial capacities. I'm currently a director of Pieta Fine Art Ltd.

The Guardian

PhD Early Flemish painting (incomplete), MA History of Art, BA History of Art (Hons)

Awards and Honors
Neil MacGregor Scholarship

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