19 Nov 2020


Zoë Foster


Read about Jaanika Peerna’s latest exhibitions, works and news.

Jaanika Peerna art news / exhibitions / latest works / performances

Jaanika Peerna is an Estonia-born artist who, since 1998, lives and works mostly in New York.

Peerna’s work generally encompasses drawing, video, installation and performance. She often deals with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. Equally important, in her performances, she collaborates with designers, dancers and musicians. Her work also engages with, above all, environmental concerns. In particular, much of her focus is now on addressing the climate breakdown we are all surrounded by. This is seen, for example, specifically in her ‘Glacier Elegy‘ Projects and recent drawings, such as ‘March Solace‘ series and ‘Screech of Ice‘.

Solo exhibitions include: Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Artdepoo Gallery and Vana-Wõromaa Cultural Center, Estonia; Salon b, Montreal and Kentler International Drawing Space, New York. Together with this, her performances include: The Bronx Museum, New York; Hudson Valley Centre of Contemporary Art: Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT.

Equally important, her work is in important international collections including The Bennetton Collection, Italy; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Wales; Garrison Art Center, New York; Novosibirsk Art Museum, Russia and Imago Mundi.

2020 December


We are delighted to launch a stunning new body of work by Jaanika Peerna

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March Solace series, 2020
Pigment print, graphite, metallic pencils and
colour pencils
Each work 134.6 x 89.5 cm

This new body of work emerged from Jaanika’s time in isolation and is a very personal response to the current times – both the climate crisis and these strange days of 2020.

The series takes as its source images of sculptural installations that Jaanika has made for exhibitions over the last few years. Firstly, she blows up photographs of the installations to large scale, printing them using inkjet Mylar printing. She then spends time with each image before she finally draws on them. Although the gesture of the drawing is quick, the thought beforehand is extensive and meditative. Equally important, for her ‘there is no space between pencil and paper’ for the final drawing. Her body becomes a channel for the work.

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Moreover, much of Jaanika’s recent work is a lament to glaciers and natural ice, and this body of work, with its intricate layers and with the use of her ‘Glacier Elegy’ works at their core, continue this engagement with the climate emergency.

The human scale of the works also references Jaanika’s performance work Her body becomes a conduit within these quiet and lyrical works. While more personal than her public performances, each piece has a strong sense of the artist’s presence. Likewise, they stand as documents of this very private action within the studio. The final works have an inherent ambiguity, between what is drawn, printed or sculpture. This ambiguity is an important element for the artist, as the cuts, layers and moments form connections across time.


2020 November

30/30 – Small Works on Paper
Selection from the Kentler Flatfiles

November 7 – December 12, 2020 | Kentler International Drawing Space | 353 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Jaanika Peerna’s work is included in ‘30/30 –  Small works on paper‘, showing work from the Kentler International Drawing Space Collection. The Kentler Flatfiles in particular are an essential element of Kentler International Drawing Space since its founding in 1990. A collection of over 2,000 artworks by 290 local, national and international artists, this living archive likewise represents the incredible breadth and diversity of contemporary drawings and works on paper today.

Together with this, the Kentler Flatfiles are an important resource for artists, collectors, curators and anyone who has an interest in the field of drawing and work on paper. 


Peerna Kentler
Small Melt 2, Jaanika Peerna. Courtesy Kentler International Drawing Space Collection.

2020 October

Jaanika Peerna’s performance ‘Glacier Elegy Brooklyn’ is featured in ARTnews and Art in America

Jaanika’s latest performance of ‘Glacier Elegy’ is featured in Art News and additionally in Art in America.

Glacier Elegy Brooklyn
Artnews: ‘Glacier Elegy Brooklyn’, 2020. Jaanika Peerna

Glacier Elegy Performance’ @ Pebble Beach, Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Sunday 4th October 2020. Jaanika Peerna performs a moving and powerfully personal performance on the waterfront in Brooklyn. This performance is the latest instalment of her ‘Glacier Elegy’ series. Earlier performances include those in Estonia, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Wales and also the US. Taking place on the waterfront at Dumbo, Brooklyn, she asks her audience what it would be like to hold the last piece of ice. A powerful and moving performance, engaging in the climate emergency in particular, while also acting as a tribute to the city of New York.

Read the full article on the performance