15 May 2020

INSIDE THE STUDIO with Jaanika Peerna

Zoë Foster

INSIDE THE STUDIO with Jaanika Peerna

An exclusive glimpse inside the Hudson Valley studio of Jaanika Peerna.

This week, New York artist Jaanika Peerna talks to us in her studio, introducing a new body of work that she has been working on while in isolation, a very personal response to the current times.

Estonian artist Jaanika Peerna has lived and worked in New York since 1998. Her practice spans drawing, performance, sculpture and installation. This new series of work connects all these areas of her practice, with drawing, movement and sculpture becoming fused.

This new body of work, made in the Hudson Valley studio of Jaanika Peerna, takes as its source images of sculptural installations that she has made for exhibitions over the last few years. Photographs of the installations are blown up to large scale, printed using inkjet Mylar printing. Peerna 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. She describes how ‘there is no space between pencil and paper’ for the final drawing, with the artist allowing her body to become a channel for the work.

Watch Jaanika talking about this series in her studio.
Abstract art
March Solace series 1 Jaanika Peerna

The human scale of the works references Peerna’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, and 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.