Bill Jenkins


Artists who use light as their primary medium also tend to harbor affection for feats of technical wizardry; think of the candy-colored spectacle James Turrell recently staged at the Guggenheim. For “Wet Light,” his second solo at Laurel Gitlen, Bill Jenkins has created a subtle perceptual experience by manipulating the light and space of the gallery, but in a decidedly DIY manner. Light from the gallery’s existing overhead lamps, as well as its windows, appears to have been channeled into a low trough on the floor via an elaborate system of ventilation ducts fortified with black trash bags. The mechanism sort of works—some light comes out at the end of a tube. More important than its utility, though, Jenkins’s Home Depot contraption appears in the dim space as a mysterious sculptural form, inviting open-ended contemplation.