photo - Annette Solakoglu

Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist and educator living and working primarily in New York since 1998. Her work encompasses drawing, video, light, installation, and performance, often dealing with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. For her performances she is often collaborates with dancers and musicians. Her practice as an artist and educator stems from the corporeal experience of our existence and reaches towards enhanced awareness of the fragility, interconnectedness and wonder of all life. 


Peerna teaches movement and art workshops in various settings and works at the Dia Art Foundation as a museum educator. 


She has exhibited her work and performed extensively in the entire New York metropolitan area as well as in Berlin, Paris, Tallinn, Barcelona, Venice, Moscow, Dubai, Sydney, Canberra, and Cologne. Her work is in numerous private collections in the USA and Europe and has been acquired by the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris. Her work is represented in the United States by JHB Gallery and ARC Fine Art, and in Europe by Galerie Ulf Larsson in Cologne. She was awarded the FID Grand Prize in 2016 for her work in drawing.

          "I make drawings, videos and installations. My elements are line and light; my materials are pencils, vellum and video camera. I am a vessel gathering subtle and rapturous processes in nature, using the experiences and impulses to make my work.  I record mist turning into water.  I use slowly changing lights to cast shadows of mylar strips onto a wall—The slowness of shadows makes one wonder if there is any change at all.  I let wind move my body so that it leaves traces on paper. I swim through thousands of layers of gray air and mark each one down. Most of my work is born in the solitude of my studio. Sometimes public performances with musicians and dancers draw me out from the safe silence of my space and expand my drawing practice with sound and movement. I am interested in the never-ending process of becoming with no story, no beginning, no end—just the current moment in flux."

—Jaanika Peerna