December 10, 2017 – January 13, 2018
Opening reception: Sunday, December 10, 2017
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
“You have to smile when you see a tow truck towing a tow truck.” Such was the off-handed response of a prominent Los Angles art critic to the highly self-referential work of photographer Matthew Brandt, one of the artists included in Tow Truck Towing a Tow Truck at As Is. This group exhibition is organized on themes of inter-textuality and formal self-consciousness, featuring artworks that make reference to other art or—the flip side of the same coin—put into question their own conditions of possibility. Aptly characterizing Brandt’s work, as he did, the critic’s quip makes a more general if somewhat counterintuitive point: It suggests that low comedy can be productively smuggled into high art and that autopoiesis, a defining feature of formalist art and poetics, can likewise be understood as a routine feature of everyday life. Tow Truck Towing a Tow Truck gathers together a body of artworks, documents and ephemera (making little distinction between categories as it does) that support this circular logic while at least hinting at the comic lunacy that is the underreported part of the formalist story.
Artists include, Michael Asher, Tricia Avant, Russell Baldwin, Merwin Belin, Matthew Brandt, Nancy Buchanan, Bob Burchman, James Lee Byars, Carol Caroompas, Guy de Cointet, Robert Dowd, Doug Edge, Jim Eller, Ron Griffin, Lloyd Hamrol, Newton Harrison, Doug Henry, Kim Hubbard, John Knight, David Lamelas, Fred Lonidier, Brian Mann, Michael Olodort, Renee Petropoulos, Dennis Reed, Vincent Robbins, Ben Sakoguchi, Phel Steinmetz, James Strombotne, Joost Van Oss, Bob Wilhite, Lawrence Weiner, Takako Yamaguchi and others.