Home Artists Jaanika Peerna


Jaanika Peerna


12 Works exhibited on Kooness

Current location

New York

Represented by

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Works by Jaanika Peerna

Gushing 3



121.9 x 91.4cm

4793,00 €

Blue Melt 19



76.2 x 76.2cm

4970,00 €

Big Blue Melt 14



132 x 182.3cm

8342,00 €

Ablation Zone 6



203.2 x 76.2cm

6213,00 €

Thaw 14


Drawings , Graphite drawing

121.9 x 91.4cm

4615,00 €

Tipping Point #7



137.5 x 91.5cm

6982,00 €

Tipping Point #5



137.5 x 91.5cm

6982,00 €

Big Melt #16



135 x 91.5cm

5621,00 €

Big Melt #10



135 x 91.5cm

6982,00 €

Maelstrom Series 77



91.5 x 91.5cm

3950,00 €

Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist whose work encompasses drawing, video, installations and performances. She creates abstract drawings on thin plastic paper through intuitive physical movements inspired by, and reminiscent of dance.
She lives and works in New York, Berlin and Tallinn.


Peerna earned her MFA from the State University of New York (SUNY) in New Paltz in 2005. 
She completed a fellowship from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland, in 1998, and earned her MA from Tallinn University in Estonia in 1995.


In Peerna's studio work, she uses the physical movements of her body to simulate natural forces such as falling water, wind, gravity and momentum. She attaches a sheet of Mylar to a board then grasps a bunch of pencils in each hand. Touching the tips of the pencils to the Mylar she then executes a single, fluid, whole-body gesture, moving the pencils across the surface in emulation of the motion of natural phenomena such as a waterfall or storm surge. In this movement, Peerna's body becomes like water released. The pencils are an extension of Peerna's physicality and the image left behind on the surface is an instantaneous record of this singular natural event.

Outside the studio Peerna sometimes collaborates with musicians, dancers and other artists, executing her drawings on Mylar spread out onto the floor or hung from the ceiling. She connects her pencils to the Mylar's surface then moves across the surface creating marks that record the intuitive motions she makes while interacting with her partner.


Peerna is inspired by transitory natural phenomena such as light, water and air. While in the process of creating a drawing, she connects to the sound of the tip of the pencil running across the surface. The image thus becomes a physical record of the transitory nature of the experience in which she is collaborating. The work is an aesthetic monument, a visual memory of the moment.

Though active, involved, and sometimes noisy, Peerna’s practice is deeply rooted in an investigation of silence. It is an attempt to record the simplicity and beauty underlying a complex set of environmental and experiential stimuli.

Her drawings are a relic of the culmination of a meeting of three-dimensional and two-dimensional space. The work carries with it an inherent contemplative depth caused by the use of a static, flat surface, as a method of recording emotional, psychological and physical transitions involving space, time and human activity.

Artist statement

"I make drawings, and installations. My elements are line and light; my materials are pencils, vellum and the movement of my body. 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 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. I am interested in the never-ending process of becoming with no story, no beginning, no end—just the current moment in flux."


Peerna's work is included in a number of private collections throughout the United States and Europe and is also included in the collection of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (National Foundation for Contemporary Art) in Paris.


Peerna's work has been exhibited extensively in solo shows in New York City and Tallinn, Estonia (her home town), as well as in Berlin, Paris, Helsinki, Lisbon, Dubai, Honolulu, Rome and multiple other cities.

Notable distinctions

Peerna was awarded the FID Grand Prize at the 2016 Foire Internationale du Dessin (International Drawing Fair) in Paris, France.


Solo Exhibitions


Jaanika Peerna, “Glacier Elegy”, Salon b, Montreal


Jaanika Peerna, Galerie Ulf Larsson, Cologne


Jaanika Peerna, W oodstock Artists Association and Museum, Woodstock, NY

“Light Matter”, Hillyer Art Space, Washington DC

“Light Matter” (catalogue) , Kentler International Drawing Space, New York

“Emerge.Submerge” , SG Gallery, Venice, Italy


“Exercises for Lines”, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

“Avanzare, Arretrare”, Rimini Drawing Biennial, Primo Piano Gallery, Rimini, Italy

“Etenee – Vetäytyy”, Aarni Gallery, Espoo, Finland

“Avanzare e Arretrare”, Ninapi Gallery, Ravenna, Italy


“ Vanishing Silence”, BeArt, Garrison, NY


“Jaanika Peerna: drawing s and videos”, Estonian Embassy, Washington DC


“Edges of Wind and Light”, A.R.C. Fine Art, Fairfield, CT

“Tuule äär/Windedge”, ArtDepoo Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia


“Traces of a Sweet Connect”, Go North Gallery, Beacon, NY


Thesis Show, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz


“Climate of Sight,” Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, NY


“Light Between Lines and Bits,” Linna (City) Gallery, Tallinn, Eston ia `

“Lines in Silence,” Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY


` Art Academy Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia


“Jaanika Peerna: photos and drawings” Estonian House, New York, NY


Selected Group Exhibitions


"The possibilities of line", McKenzie Fine Art Gallery, New York City

 "These waters have stories to tell", Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

 "VIIVA / THE LINE", Lokal, Helsinki

 "Flat???"Kentler International Drawing Space

“Bigger, Bolder, Better”, Chashama, 760 Vanderbuilt, Brooklyn, NY

Kentler International Drawing Space

“The Topography of Language: Re-Reading Drawing in the Twenty-First Century”

curated by Jayne Baum, JHB Gallery, PULSE Miami Beach Art Fair, FL

“Language of Patterns”, curator Virginia Walch, Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY

“Consul Art”, Maison de l’Artisanat et des Metres d’Art, Marseille, France (catalogue)


“ Drawers Draw ” , curated by Alison Pierz, Galerie Protégé, New York

“ Drawn to Exper ience V2”, curated by Kellie O’De mpsey , POP Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane and School of Art Gallery, National University of Australia, Canberra

Works on Paper, M Contemporary, Sydney, Australia

“Lin e Describing a Cone”, curated by Eva Respini (MOMA), Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY


“Ellipse”, curated by Erin Lawlor an d Katrin Bremerman, A3 Gallery, Moscow

“Mein Lustgarten”, curated by Chen Yang, Wie Kultur, Berlin

“Am Rand” (drawing and pe rformance), Jää - äär, Berlin


“Falls of Solitude” (installation), Manalo Projects, Berlin

Tallinn Light Art Biennial (video installation), Architecture and Design Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

“A - Line - Ment”, Gallery66NY, Cold Spring, NY

“The Silence of Forest Sounds”,with Tuuli Mann, Haus Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

Curatoral project by Inga Heamägi, Kaliningrad Graphic Art Biennial of the Baltic Sea Countries, Kaliningrad, Russia

Drawn to Experience (drawing and video), curated by Kellie O’Dempsey, Queens land College of Art, Brsibane, Australia

In Our Backyard, curated by Heige Kim, Roos Arts, Rosendale, NY

Elegy, curated by Eleni Smolen, Theo Ganz Studio, Beacon, NY

Timelines, curated by Karlyn Benson, Mattewan Gallery, Beacon, NY

Park: Toivo Raidmets ja Jaanika Peerna (wall drawings), Architecture and Design Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia


A Question of Slow, curated by Alison Pierz, Skylight Gallery, New York

Estonian Curatorial Project, curator Inga Heamägi, Novosibirsk Graphic Art Triennial, Novosib irsk, Russia (catalogue, First Prize)

CUT #2, curated by Gregory Kepinski, Museum of Imagination, Hudson, NY

Slow Art Room (drawing and installation), Governor’s Island Art Fair, New York

Drawing – Freedom, curated by Maria - Kristiina Ulas (performance), Gallery for Architecture and Design, Tallinn, Estonia

A Border, Path, Threshold; curated by Margot Kask, Viinistu Art Museum Chapel, Estonia

Silent Revolution, curated by Anu Juurak, Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia (catalogue)

Smoke Free Fall @ project space, curated by Ginger Shulick, Fountain Art Fair, NYC

CUT, curated by Gregory Kepinski, Museum of Imagination, Hudson, NY

Napp (video, drawing), curated by Margot Kask, City Gallery, Pärnu, Estonia


Harilik/Ordinary:drawing practices III, curated by Mar got Kask, pART Gallery, Põltsamaa, Estonia

“Liberte/Vabadus 2011”, curated by Kaia Kiik, Asnières Chateau, Paris, France

Summer Selections, curated by Adrienne Conzelman, ARC Fine Art, Fairfield. CT

Selects, Beacon Arts Shortwave Gallery, Stone Harbor, NJ

Lumen video and performance festival, curated by Ginger Schulick, Staten Island waterfront, New York

Harilik/Ordinary: drawing practices II, curated by Margot Kask, Y Gallery, Tartu, Estonia

International Paper Art Biennial, curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos , City Gallery, Sophia, Bulgaria

Harilik/Ordinary:drawing practices I, curated by Margot Kask, Kunstihoone Galerii, Tallinn, Estonia


Light Art Biennial, artP.kunstverein, Perchtoldsdorf and Lintz, Austria

Archipelago; Dorsky Curatorial Projects; Brooklyn, NY

Roma Art Fair, Metropolart; Marco Testaccio, Rome, Italy

Herning International Video festival, Arhus, Denmark

Video Art Biennial, curated by Mamia Breteche, Metropolart; Paris; Portfolio Gallery, Dubai

Annual Benefit Show, Kentler International Drawing Center, Brooklyn, NY


Unsettled Conditions, curated by Karin Laansoo, Monospace, Brooklyn, NY

Plastic Waves: collaborative installation :Susan English and Jaanika Peerna, Gillette Gallery, GAC, Garrison, NY

WET: videos on Water, Maxwell Fine Arts, Peekskill, NY

Sublime, Zero Filme, R.Sao Filipe Nery, nr 25B, Lisbon, Portugal

Slow News International, curated by Peggy Cyphers / Broadthinking, The ARTS at Marks Garage, Honolulu, HI

Revisions (drawings), Galerie Lavignes - Bastille, Paris, France

H 20:Film on Water (video); curated by Cynthia R eeves, Reeves Gallery in New York City’ The Mill Art Space, Newport, NH

FUTURE=FERTILE (video); curated by Leo Kuelbs, LKC, New York

BROADTHINKING, Bridge Art Fair, New York, NY ( supported in part with funds fr om SOS program through NYFA and NYSCA administered by GAC)

“Out of the Blue”, (weather and creative process); curated by Amy Lipton, Joy Episalla and Joy Garnett; Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ

International Juried Exhibition, Juror Adeli na Vlas, Assistant Curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art, NJ Visual Art Center, Summit, NJ


The Works International Visual Arts Festival (videos), curated by Shawn Pinchbeck, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

“NEW” (drawings), curated by Paul Kahn, Galerie Lavi gnes - B astille, Paris, France (supported in part with funds from SOS program through NYFA and NYSCA administered by GAC)

National Juried Exhibition, Juror: Ester Adler, curatoria l assistant at Department of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Phoenix Gallery, Ne w York, NY

Regional Triennial “The Camera Always Lies,” curated by Be th Wilson, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY

“What Happens Next?” Video shorts, curated b y Bart Woodstrup, Time Space Limited, Hudson ,NY

“Fugue” (videos and drawings) cu rated by Patricia Miranda and Patricia Spergel, Miranda Fine Arts, Port Chester, NY

“Paradox of Water,” juried by Mary Sabbatino, Vice President and Partner of Galerie Lelong in New York City, Westport Art Center, Westport, CT

“Abstract ( ? )” (video), Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, NY


“Code in Art,” SLSA Code Conference, Portland, Maine

“Silence Increased,” Chapman Gallery, University of Salford, Manchester, UK

“Ecological Integrity,” curated by Alice Wexler, Muroff Kotler Gallery Ulster County Communi ty College, Stone Ridge, NY

“Air,” curated by Sophia Gevas, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT

“Light,” two person exhibition, Estonian House, New York, NY

“Evidence,” curated by C. March Kleinert/James Art Center, Woodstock, NY


Video Showcase, BAU, Beacon, NY

“The Song of the Earth” (video), Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, NY

“Juxtaposition” (video installation), curated by K.Svalbonas Caldwell College, NJ

“Lõõm 06,” Estonian House, New York, NY

“Standards and Shifts in Contemporary Art,” Arts Excha nge, White Plains, NY


“Art of the Northeast,” Silvermine Guild Arts center, New Canaan, CT

B5, curated by C. March, Kleinert/James Art Center Woodstock, NY

DIVA Digital and Video Art Fair, New York, NY

"Digital Summer,” Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon,NY

“Ceilings and Floors,” curated by D. Lombardi

Anderson Chase Gallery, Katonah, NY


"Stay Tuned: Hypnotic Videos by Contemporary Artists," curated by M. Freedman

The Studio: Alternative Space for Contemporary Art, Armonk, NY


"Digital/Analogue," Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, NY

"Photography Show," Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon,NY


Macy Gallery, Valhalla,NY

Garrison Art Center Gallery, Garrison, NY


"Breaking the Rules," Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

Lyman - Eyer Gallery, Newton, MA

"Nor theast Annual," Silvermine Guild Galleries, New Canaan, CT


Energeetika Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia


UIAH Gallery Helsinki, Finland


Kastellaani Maja Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

  • T. Roniger, “ Light Matter”, exhibition catalogue, Kentler Inte rnational Drawing Space, February 2015
  • H.Treier, “Just Like the Wind: Jaanika Peerna’s intricate Simplicity”, essay, “Jaanika Peerna: Storms and Silences” (artist monograph), February 2015
  • F. Robinson, “Drawing or Performance”, essay, “Jaanika Peerna: Stor ms and Silences” (artist monograph), February 2015
  • R. Kübarsepp, “Joonte füüsiline mõnu”, exhibition review, Postimees , Estonian daily newspaper, Oct 10, 2014
  • I.Manalo “Studio Visit: Jaanika Peerna”, TheStudioVisit.com http://thestudiovisit.com/jaanika - peerna/ , August 2014
  • F. Robinson , “Jaanika Peerna: Avanzare, Arretrare”, http://fionarobinsonwritings.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/jaanika - peerna /
  • Veronika Valk, ed, SNOWMUD : Protocols: the Estonian Acad emy of Arts Faculty of Architecture Guest Speaker Series 2012 - 2013
  • U. Salm, “ Künstlergespräch mit Jaanika Peerna”, Das Balticum Blatt , December 19, 2013
  • H. Treier, “Reappearance of Abstract Art”, exhibition review, KesKus , September 2013
  • K. Lillemets, “ New York - based artist Jaanika Peerna: Appreciating the shades of grey”, interview, Estonian World , September,10 2013 http://estonianworld.com/people/new - york - based - artist - jaanika - peerna - appreciating - shades - grey/
  • M. Trauring , “ Sciulli finds her way in the dark”, Southampton Press , May 18, 2013 http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Bridgehampton/9727/ Christine - Sciulli - Finds - Her - Way - In - The - Dark
  • M. Järvi, “Raidmetsa ja Peerna näitus Park”, interview at Estonian State Radio, February 27, 2013
  • V. Valk , “Eem al ja Kohal/ Away and Here”, discussion with Peerna, Sirp : Estonian Cultural Weekly, February, 28 2013
  • “Park” exhibition in Estonian State TV news, February,19, 2012
  • ” Drawn by Wind: Scribble Artist Interview with Jaanika Peerna”, ScribbleBlog.com, Janua ry 2013, http://www.scribbleblog.com/scribble - artist - interview - with - jaanika - peerna/
  • “A Question of Slow”, on - line exhibition review, ArtFuse.com , Dec. 2012
  • A. Pierz, “Fairly Slow Art on Governors Island”, Slow Art Day Blog, September 2012
  • V. Thurlow , “Ko mpromissitriennaal”, Sirp : cultural weekly in Tallinn, Estonia, Sept, 6 2012
  • A. Juurak , “Silent Revolution”, exhibition catalog, July 2012
  • M. Lepp, Joonistuskunsti varasalvest , a book on drawing, published August, 2012
  • L. Pietroluongo, “Dynamic Duos: Ar tFull Living”, Chronogram , July, 2012
  • N. Raud , Silence exhibition in New York, interview on Estonian TV, June 8,2012 : http://uudised.err.ee/index.php?06254782
  • S. Joon, “Kunstnike käejäljed”, Pärnu Postimees , daily newspaper, Pärnu, Estonia February, 7 2012
  • A. Purre, “Drawing the invisible” Tähelepanu, Valmis Olla, Kunst! State art education materials Tallinn, Estonia August 2011
  • V. Thurlow, “Harilik pole tavaline”, Harilik, exhibition catalog , October 2011
  • L. Haimelin, interview with Jaanika Peerna, LU XE IMMO , #16 2011
  • R. Varblane, “The world needs a free foal”, Liberté, exhibition catalog , November 2011
  • T. Young “ArtBeat: Estonians in Paris”, http://blog.pantone.com/2011/12/art - beat - estonians - in - paris/, December 2, 2011
  • A. Demir, “Freedom/Conquest”, Liberté, exhibition catalog , November 2011
  • N. Boldych, “Vabaduse Ilmingud”, Sirp , December, 9, 2011
  • J. Püttsepp, “Sama torm looduses ja kunstiteoses”, Sirp: Roheline Värav , November, 26 2010
  • V.Vikerkaar, “Longing Through Line: Drawing back to Home”, Ba ltic Reports (online at http://balticreports.com/?p=18702), June 2,2010
  • R. Nukk, “Jaanika Peerna püüab tuult”, Aripäev , June 20, 2010
  • K. Ulman, “Kuidas joonistada tuule ääri?”, Eesti Naine , June 2010
  • Video’Appart Paris - Dubai exhibition catalog, curated by Mamia Breteche, March 2010
  • G. Gouveia, “What’s art got to do, got to do with it?”, Journal News , February 14, 2009
  • A. Lipton, “Out of the Blue”, exhibition catalogue, February, 2009
  • D. Lombardi, “...time I got to Woodstock”, Culture Catch (online), July 25, 2008
  • M. Sabbatino, “The Paradox of Water”, exhibition catalog, March 2008
  • B.E. Wilson, “The Camera Always Lies”, Photography Quarterly #4, 2008
  • R. Rice, “The Camera Always Lies”, Roll Magazine, July 2008
  • B.E. Wilson, “Drawing Togethe r”, Chronogram , February, 2008
  • B. Genocchio, “Opening a Window on the Creative Mind”, New York Times, January 27, 2008
  • P. Smart, “Smart Art”, Woodstock Times , April 12, 2007
  • T. Spire, “Jaanika Peerna: Portfolio”, Photography Quarterly , October, 2005
  • C. Fuchek, “The ‘Digital’ Age”, Poughkeepsie Journal, June 5, 2005
  • N. Edwards, “Landscapes, every which way, star in Beacon show”, Poughkeepsie Journal , Jan. 14, 2005
  • W. Zimmer, “Taking in Videos And Feeling Faint”, New York Times, May 23, 2004
  • D. Lombard i, “Turning data into textured paintings”, New York Times , January 26, 2003
  • B.E. Wilson, “Here and There (Are Closer Than You Think)”, Chronogram, March 2003


Distinguished Alumnae, Tallinn University, Estonia


FID Grand Prix 2016, international drawing aw ard, president of the jury Brett Littmann, Drawing Center NYC


Award for active cultural leadership, presented by the Council of Foreign Consulates of New York


APT Fellowship for one month residency and exhibition at Scuola Di Grafica, Venice


Third Prize, State Competition for public art at Viljandi Gümnaasium, Estonia


Drawing Award, Tallinn International Drawing Triennial, Tallinn, Estonia

Drawing Award, Novosibirsk Graphic Arts Triennial, Novosibirsk, Russia

Cultural Endo wment of Estonia [Kultuurkapital]

2010 - 2011

Cultural Endowment of Estonia [Kultuurkapital]

Special Opportunity Stipend, New York Foundation for the Arts


Special Opportunity Stipend, New York Foundation for the Arts


Third Prize, Paradox of Water exhibit at Westport Art Center, chosen by Mary Sabbatino of Galerie Lelong, New York and Paris.

Cultural Endowment of Estonia [Kultuurkapital]

Special Opportunity Stipend, New York Foundation for the Arts

Arts Link, Putnam Arts Fund, NY USA


Special Opportunity Stipend, New York Foundation for the Arts


Research and Creative Projects Award, SUNY New Paltz


Research and Creative Projects Award, SUNY New Paltz