The Good, The Bad, and The …

Thursday, 24 June 2004 – Sunday, 11 July 2004

Challenging their own convictions, and risking the end of their careers, 8 artists grapple with the fundamental question “What makes an Artwork Good or Bad?”

By exhibiting a work they would never dream of showing, and a work they can’t wait to show, questions of authenticity and aesthetic judgements are raised that confuse or compound the fundamentals of creative practice

Daniel Lehan

Sometimes you look at old work, and think, well actually, it isn’t as bad as I once thought, in fact it’s quite good.

John Hayward

I find it very confusing and highly worrying that the good and the bad works may not be distinguishable from each other.


The concept of ‘Taste’ was only invented in the 18th Century. Mae West, actress, raconteur and bain of the film censors famously said, “When I’m good I’m very, very good, but when I’m bad I’m better.”

Lucia Cipriano

Bad for whom? Good for what? Do good? Be bad? Good for nothing! We’ll wrangle it and mix it up a bit. Scramble and reverse it with a summersault or two just to make it tastier. Cartesian dualism – I like a dare!

Ruth Catlow

In his lecture series on ‘ugliness’ Mark Cousins said that something is ugly or bad purely by virtue of it being in the wrong place: the alien monster’s drool on your neck, the long hairs sprouting from a woman’s chin.

Shane Bradford

The very nature of this show challenges your authority as an artist. Questioning authority is usually something art is good at, so it’s a healthy exercise to turn the spotlight in on ourselves, even if it has given me a headache.

Neil Taylor

By virtue of being honest, right, proper, commendable, excellent, or just plain adequate a work of art is deemed to be good. A dictionary describes bad as ‘the opposite of good’ and then goes on to say, ill, evil and wicked. Very troubling indeed.

Harriet Murray

How do we decide if an artwork is good? Is it creative judgement, intellectual content, composition, harmony or emotional response? If it lacks these qualities is it bad or just not art?

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