Are there Bad Artworks? Some Views on the Negative Evaluations of Art

Eleni Gemtou

Department of Philosophy and History of Science. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/Greece. Email:

   Volume 2, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.23.v2n301


The general purpose of this paper is to investigate the character of negative evaluations of art through two basic questions, which are to be answered by a historic and a cognitive/structuralistic approach, retrospectively: Do negative evaluations of art have an absolute and permanent character and can negative evaluations block the cognitive process of the creation of aesthetic experience? The definitions of artworks both as value-carriers and as the means of renewing creative and philosophic thinking are used as the basis of an argumentation that reaches the conclusion that negative evaluations of artworks are only temporary as they may change with the passage of time. Moreover, cultivated perceivers of bad artworks may gain deep aesthetic experience because of their effort to justify their negative evaluations, in which they are reminded of the principles of genuine art, due to our structuralistic thinking process based on binary opposites.

 Keywords: Art Evaluation, Structuralism, Binary Oppositions, Clement Greenberg